Heathered Tees & Stretchy Jeans No More

I’ll be writing more about the shift to all (or mostly) organic and natural clothing as I go along-I am in the middle of it.
I’m inspired to take the synthetics out of my wardrobe, mostly because the synthetics get into our waterways and oceans (and soils) and do not break down and wreak havoc with animals large and small…
I spent a lot of time about 11 years ago, researching cotton tee shirts and then purchasing and selling organic, US made, clay-dyed tee shirts with my Permaculture related artwork on it. So I KNOW about toxic cotton. I KNOW why organic is important. Short example: When cotton is ready to pick, it’s sprayed with chemicals to kill the plant. LOTS of chemicals. Then the cotton is “ginned” and the parts that aren’t white and fluffy are turned into “Cotton Meal” which is fed back to animals. All of those chemicals going right back into our food system. Yuck.

Somehow through menopause my wardrobe crept over into spandex and rayon land big-time. And so as I’ve been “relearning” through the information from Fibershed, I’m just starting to notice ALL of the things in my wardrobe that contain synthetics. And I’d say it was about 90% of my everyday wardrobe. Yuck. Ugh. Yikes.

The first thing I noticed is my jeans. I went from the heavy 100% cotton Levis to the 1-2% spandex ones to the cheap, easy to obtain, 8% spandex ones, because they’re comfy and lighter than the old Levis. I live in California and when it’s 110*F the old school miner’s pants are way too heavy. But 8% synthetic. 😦

I also noticed that my favorite tee (grey heathered) is 50% polyester which is not good, and there were about 6 other grey heathered tee shirts in my favorite and “constantly wear” pile. I had even just purchased a few new tees because I like my clothes a lot looser than I did 10 years ago. All heathered. All contain polyester. Darn!
And hanging up laundry yesterday, the obviousness of it rolled out in front of me. So I took a picture. Heather, heather, heather, heather…..only 2 are not 50% polyester. Ouch. IMG_4743

One of the righteous tees in the photo (the orangey one) is about 10 years old-from my favorite company, Earth Creations. They sell all organic clothing and some of their clothing (check their color palette for which are clay and which are dye) are dyed with clay.
Pretty cool, and after 10 years I can tell you the shirts hold up and the dye stays put.  I looked them up again last night, shopped their sale, and today, most of the synthetic tee shirts went into stash. I’m not throwing them out (yet) I’m just putting them away for a year.

I’ve now gone through everything in my closet and will be selling some things, and putting a LOT of things in stash. I did have to resort to Ebay for a few pairs of decent linen/cotton pants because everything I had (except one old pair of heavy Levis) had synthetics in them. I shop Ebay when I need something, or wait til we go to Sacramento to hit up a Thriftown. I rarely pay full price for clothes, especially for what I call “farm clothes”. Thrift store $1 a pound bins and even the dumpsters behind them are a fruitful place to find decent hack around the house clothes. So at least I have pants, but I still have no tank tops that aren’t stretchy.

If  you asked me a month ago to pick my favorite comfortable well-loved outfit, I would have chosen my favorite grey heathered tee and my stretchy jeans. And part of me is still really grumpy that they’re now in stash.
I may even have to go back into the tee shirt biz because the picture on my favorite tee is one I love so much, and I know a lot of others would love it too. Last time I sold tees it was a heavy investment, but now, Kickstarter is a thing, so maybe I will do that…Stay tuned for more….

For now, I’m headed for all cotton/linen/wool/natural (i.e. compostable), and what I don’t have I’m going to have to sew with the stash of organic cotton fabric I have… It’s going to be a process.  I was though kind of shocked at how much synthetic fiber had crept into my wardrobe, but I’m changing it…slowly.





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