Thursday, March 7, 2013

Organic Clothing: Is it worth it?

When we talk about ‘organic produce’, many of us will instantly think of meat, fruit and vegetables. Not too long ago, organic food wasn’t seen as a necessity, and was considered by the majority of people to be too expensive, especially considering that there didn’t seem to be a huge difference between organic and non-organic food.

Now that we’re in 2013, loads of people now continually chose to buy organic food despite the higher price tag as we have come to accept that it’s not only better for the animals and environment, but better for us as well.

But what about organic clothing?

We seem to be in the same position as we used to be with food: is the higher price tag really worth it for a t-shirt that basically looks exactly the same as a non-organic t-shirt?

What’s the difference?
The growth of cotton covers only 2.5% of all cultivated land , but actually uses 16% of the world’s insecticides – more than any other singular crop. Organic material is grown without these insecticides, or any herbicides, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds.
Much like those who grow organic food, the farmers are also usually part of sustainable, ‘friendly’ organisations, which allows those who actually produce these products to take a bigger cut of the profits, and work within a non-threatening environment.
These differences push up the prices for organic clothing, just the same as it does for organic food, so it really is down to you whether or not you think these benefits are worth the extra costs. Personally, I’m still undecided.

Our survey says…
Associate professor of Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles Joan Ellis recently conducted a survey  within the Washington State University to see whether people would actually buy these organic products for the higher price.
Ellis acknowledged within her study that everyone really does have their price, so she tried to gain as realistic an image as possible in order to see the future for organic apparel.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, those who had a history of already buying organic produce were more likely to pay more for the organic clothing, but those who have to budget for their clothing were much less likely. Interestingly, many said they may pay more if the quality was of a higher standard than the alternative.

My two cents

I’d like to raise my son to be ecologically aware, and children’s organic clothing is a growing market, even more so than the adult variations. Polarn O. Pyret  are a leading organic clothing website and have said about their products: “Whilst you may pay a little more for quality children's clothing at PO.P initially, parents appreciate the extendable features on our clothing which accommodate their child’s growth. Every detail has been thought of to extend the lifecycle of our kids wear, from unisex colours and patterns on highly durable fabrics, to colour locking which is able to withstand the normal demands of your child's play. Looking good for the next child…and the next, and then still for the savvy e-bay consumer.”

I checked out P.O.P and was pleasantly surprised to find a discount outlet part of the website . I’m still unsure as to whether I would pay more for organic clothing in the long run, but when there are discounts on offer, I’ll always take the chance to do my bit for the environment.

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