Eco is short for ecology, or the study of interactions between organisms and their environment. Eco-fashion is any brand or line that attempts to minimize the impact on the environment, and often the health of the consumers and the working conditions for the people that are making the clothes. Imagine organic cotton, durable, recyclable fabrics, plant-based dyes and a fair wage for the manufacturers and suppliers.
However, it is not quite as simple as that. Eco-fashion can be branded just by being sustainable, which means the crop used for making the garments can be regrown or replanted once it is harvested. There is also no such thing as a 100% eco-friendly piece of clothing, because all clothing takes water and energy. (check reviews about fashion companies)
On the other hand, The term green initiative is a response to Chevron ads that promoted a green image for a corporation that had a bad environmental reputation. This tactic of using environmentalism, green imagery, and popular buzzwords associated with protecting the planet is typical of green initiative campaigns.
The Magazine for Corporate Responsibility defines it as “the phenomena of socially and environmentally destructive corporations, attempting to preserve and expand their markets or power by posing as friends of the environment.”. So as more and more consumers are becoming conscious of the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, they’re putting pressure on corporations to get their acts together. And, while environmental activism and sustainability practices are huge, long-term movements, they’re also incredibly trendy and where there’s a trend, there’s a brand to capitalize on it.
With more and more consumers making a commitment to spend their money on earth-conscious brands, green initiative has become a way for fast-fashion companies to stake their claim in the market. With effective advertising campaigns and good marketing, any corporate or small scale company can generate a green image for their brand regardless of their actual business practices. (see US-Reviews)
Is organic cotton more sustainable?
Organic cotton is simply cotton grown in a way that doesn’t require the use of pesticides. The “organic” refers to the fact that all inputs come from the earth; no synthetic substances.
To replace chemicals, organic cotton farming relies on growing cover crops, applying organic fertilizers and compost, using beneficial insects, or opting for human labor for weed control. Organic cotton is sustainable and has proven to be a legitimate alternative to its non-organic counterpart.
Not only do these growing methods have a reduced impact on the environment, but many actually benefit it. Thus organic production systems produce crops that have zero persistent pesticide and fertilizer residues (better for us and the planet), and are known to help support soil fertility and increase biodiversity.
It’s also processed sans toxic chemicals, but with natural or biological methods and substances (including azo-free earth-safe dyes and chlorine-free bleaching).
Essentially, it uses organic-approved pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides (which are significantly better from a health and environmental perspective). This means it supports better working conditions for cotton farmers.
Because organic cotton hasn’t been processed with harsh chemicals, it’s more durable than conventional cotton. It’s also better for those with sensitive skin, and really anyone who doesn’t want to absorb trace amounts of chemicals each and every wear.