ORGANICS A TO Z: WORDS FOR THE WISE
OVER THE PAST few years, it’s been discussed ad nauseam, advertised to the hilt and covered extensively in the pages of this magazine
and others around the globe. Everyone is aware the Green Movement has a starring role in today’s business climate, yet the abundance of jargon that comprises the revolution’s supporting cast gets very little time in the spotlight.
A general understanding of the terminology can go a long way to help the sale of consumer-requested organic apparel, not to mention increase the comfort level of end-users hesitant to go the green mile. Read on for a comprehensive cheat sheet, from A to Z.
ALTERNATIVE FABRICS—Fibers that are produced from unconventional substances, often in an effort to find sustainable and/or organic substitutes for cotton, wool, linen, etc. Examples include hemp, bamboo and soy. (GearTrends, www.geartrends.com)
BAMBOO—Natural, renewable and growing in abundance without the use of chemicals, this plant can be made into clothing and home
furnishing items such as flooring. It is breathable and naturally
(Green Living Online,
CARBON OFFSETTING—The process by which an individual or business purchases units of carbon to counteract the amount expended for industrial use or everyday life. (Carbonfund.org, www.carbonfund.org)
DYES—For the environmentally
conscious, the issue with conventional apparel-dyeing practices has to do with resulting water contamination. The runoff of the often petroleum-based dyes can find its way into the water supply. A fiber-reactive dyeing process (the color chemically bonds to cloth fibers) uses less water, which gives it a “low-impact” designation,
however, these dyes also can be petroleum-based.
(Blue Egg, www.blueegg.com)
ECO-FRIENDLY—Also, environmentally friendly. This term has come to refer to products deemed less harmful
to the environment or produced in a manner that has limited impact on the ecosystem. There are no standards or regulations regarding the use of this term, it does not mean something is organic, natural or even that it is in any way less damaging than something not labeled “eco-friendly.” (Consumer Reports Greener Choices Eco-Label Center,