Magazine 2013
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
Green Clothing – The Latest Trend In Practice  
Baishakhi Dutta & Vijaya Shastri  
Organic clothing is made of all natural, non synthetic material and is a part of the organic agriculture  
movement. This movement emphasizes farming and processing that work with nature and help minimize  
air, soil and water pollution. Organic clothing materials come from plants that have been radiated genetically  
modified or treated with synthetic or chemical pesticides. Any product labelled organic has to meet the  
standards set by United States Department of Agriculture,(USDA). The paper tries to analyse the utility of  
organic fabric in the world with special reference to India. According to Organic Consumers Association  
the demand for organic cotton has doubled in the recent years. This paper has tried to bring out the  
benefits of organic clothing and has focused its attention towards its sustainability and eco-friendly nature  
of the fabric. It has also highlighted the transition of various companies from popular fabric to eco-friendly  
organic cotton fabric which is becoming a fashion today.  
Keywords - Organic Clothing, Farming, Processing, Pesticides, Fabric  
The growing concern for global warning boosts the demand for organic products. With chemicals having  
its impact on health and environment, more and more people are becoming conscious of living life the organic  
way, Eco friendly, clothing is one such endevour which combines high quality clothing with socially conscious  
environmentalism and is now in vougue.” Green Clothing” is made from hundred percent organic materials like  
soy, orgnic cotton and hemp. The fibres make eco friendly fabric which embraces the body with a soft and an  
elastic touch. This natural clothing is enduring with a normal life cycle and finally reaches a bio-degradable end  
without creating any negative impact on the earth. In contrast to synthetic fabrics this natural product does not  
diminish the resources on earth.  
The soft and supple touch, eco friendly fabric has been embraced by many companies who are  
environment friendly. Many garment companies have come forward to manufacture organic clothes for children  
who are percieved to be more susceptible to toxins. Not only the fibres used for manufacturing the garments  
are organic but the dyes used in the process of making the clothes are environment friendly and have less  
impact on human skin. Organic clothing is gaining popularity and is being accepted world wide. Organic  
cotton is the basic material in the making of organic and sustainable clothing. India, Turkey, Tanzania, China,  
Syria, Egypt etc. are the leading organic cotton producing countries of the world.  
The Textile Exchange report predicts that global retail demand for organic cotton will increase by at least  
10% in 2011-12 which signifies an increasing awareness among the leading producer of organic cotton. Brand  
image plays a vital role in endorsing new products in the market.Many brands like Marks and Spencer, Nike,  
Timberland, Raymonds, Arrow, Walmart have already captured the organic market. Del Forte, Denim & Levis  
has also made an attempt to use 99% organic cotton and 1% of spandex. This has made the movement  
stronger and meaningful. Consumers are not only interested in buying apparels but also other accessories  
available in the market like hats, handbags, wallets, sports wear etc., Today it has attracted savvy fashion  
designers to design clothes made out of organic cotton which is keeping up with new patterns and style  
keeping in track with the growing demand in the market.  
Objectives Of The Study  
The main objectives of the study are based on three main aspects:  
The first aspect is sustainability of the material which should be such that it considers the environmental  
impact through its life cycle. The paper tries to find out the benefits of organic fibre, its durability and  
quality of clothing produced from it.  
The second aspect which has been looked into is the cost factor of the material used. It also looks into  
the designing of the product and its saleability together with the economics of production.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
c) The third objective of the study includes personalization which considers consumer satisfaction,  
encouraging the use of organic fibre to create awareness among the people of its benefits making  
fashion more sustainable.  
The methodology used for the study is based on secondary data as well as primary analysis. Secondary  
data includes various articles in journals and magazines, Textile Exchange Reports, Organic Consumer  
Organisation data etc. Illustrated case studies from designers and fashion brands have also been included.  
Primary data includes some sample studies of textile designers and students who have used such brands in our  
college and neighbourhood.  
Benefits Of Organic Clothing  
Go Green!!!” has been a slogan adapted by various environmentalist organizations to protect the  
planet. Due to spreading awareness, now it is being adapted by industrial sector, not to mention the fashion  
industry as well.The notions tend to reduce the harmful effects of any production process on the environment,  
make the product reusable & recyclable, help the economy to grow strong, work for the welfare of the working  
class and equity in any given society.Environmentally conscious lifestyle choices are not always easy to make.  
People tend to overlook such simple things in day to day life. Initiatives have been taken worldwide to increase  
consciousness among people and bring to their notice how to live a” greener” lifestyle that supports the  
environment. One among them focuses on the clothes we wear. The trend of shopping at eco stores in rapidly  
increasing as people have begun to realize the crucial importance of eco friendly products  
Organic clothing is essentially beneficial to save our environment in many ways, some of them are as follows  
If one’s skin is sensitive, the pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and artificial dyes present in regular  
cotton can aggravate the skin allergy. On the other hand, organic fibres are free from chemicals and  
have the qualility to bill bacteria naturally.  
Traditional cotton farming consumes 25% of all pesticides and herbicides in the world. This is dangerous  
because not only do these chemicals soak into the fibres but end up in the clothes we wear and fabrics  
we use. The chemicals run off into the ground and into the air we breathe. In contrast organic cotton in  
grow toxin- free, reducing the chemicals we ingest and release into the eviornment.  
Organic clothing made from these magic fibers is surprisingly durable. The material can be used for  
more than a year to over a decade. It is economical and do not have to be replaced as often. Fibres  
made from bamboo or hemp have all stood the test of times and durability.  
Traditional cotton is heavily proceessed after it is harvested. While making the fibre the natural waxes are  
removed and synthetic waxes are added along with bleaches, softners and formaldehyde spray. On the  
other hand organic cotton retains its natural wax, shine, weight and smoothness. The fibre is antimicrobial  
and mold resistant. It protects one from UV rays and keeps the moisture away from the skin thereby  
making the fabric superior in quality.  
Traditional cotton farming uses huge amount of chemicals making the working environment unsafe and  
polluted. With organic clothing the greatest benefit lies in its growing process which is non-toxic for the  
both employees and locals. It supports fair trade and sustainable environmental principles.  
Eco –Friendly Clothes In India  
With the threat of global warning on our heads, eco friendly products are finding a favour amongst our  
younger generation even in India. Everywhere you hear people are talking about eco-friendly products, be it  
eatables, deodorants, beauty products and the latest to join this is organic clothing. In India ‘organic fibre’  
used for making the yarn includes bamboo, corn and the like. Even though traditional cotton is still the most  
used clothing fabric in India, a sale of organic cotton- made clothing has gained momentum in recent years. In  
order to encourage this sector, the Indian Government has agreed to fully support the reduction of carbon  
footprint at the Copenhagen Meet on Climate Change in December 2009. Our country has agreed to become  
a part of solution rather than the problem. India’s emission level is fourth largest in the world which has created  
a challenge for country to create a field of sustainability and equality. The solution to this problem lies at the  
grassroot level of our country and can only succeed if the problem is tackled from the lower to the higher levels  
i.e. from villages to the cities.  
Indian textile industry is the second largest provider of employment after agriculture in our country. It  
provides direct employment to over 35 million people with a total market size of 55 bl US$, which is expected  
to grow to 110 bl US$ giving a job growth of 12 ml. The new growth of textile industry can be achived without  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
harming the environment or costing our natural resources. By promoting the textile industry in an environmentally  
and socially confirmed way, India can emerge a global leader.  
India can achieve the target of becoming a world leader by following social sustainability principles. It  
encourages tracing the roots of each products and process from farmers to spinners, weavers, dyers to  
manufactures. If this principle is incorporated the industry can take a lead in becoming a clean and fair trade  
industry which will help millions of workers live a life of dignity and well being.  
The success story of Srilanka is influencing and evigorating as it has given the line of thought for its  
neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh etc. Their ‘Garments without Guilt Programme’and ‘Abhimani  
Programme’ has worked wonders at building a sense of pride and ownership towards what they do best and  
ethically. Like all pioneering initiatives taken up, it comes with a cost to continuously invest in training,  
machinery and environmental safety standards. The uniqueness in this is the international buyers are willingly  
absorbing the guilt free clothing.  
India follows the principles of Social Accountability 8000 which specifies no child labour, no forced  
labour, health and safety for workers, right to bargain, against disciplinary practices, right working hours, fair  
wages etc. India has come out with a brand known as ‘Moral Fibre’ which is clothing with a conscience,  
following the philosophy of khadi promoting handspun, hand woven technology. This clothing brand is chemically  
neutral and allergy free. ‘Moral Fibre’ can bring in a big change in the world as it will create a ‘Zero Poverty  
World’ without harming the environment. India is bringing out wide range and brands of eco friendly clothings,  
making an effort to reach all types of consumers in the country.  
The environment is a sensitive issue and is directly influenced by all our acts. We are polluting the earth  
4/7, awake and asleep, intentionally and unintentionally; and many don’t even seem to be bothered about  
it.There is so much that can be done by us to take charge of things. Taking one step forward and demanding  
for eco friendly products is the foundation for persuading the stake holders to do a better job. Some thought  
that life without changing fashion trends is no life at all, while ditching the planet can be translated as death to  
all on the longer run. What good would fashion serve on a dead planet???? The realization of the fact gave  
birth to the concept of eco-fashion, also known to be sustainable clothing.It is also called “fashion with a  
conscious” by some trend setters. Eco-fashion is very important on many levels. The concept tends to change  
the entire production process affecting several lives throughout.The concept of eco-fashion is based on the  
three R’s of recycling and the three Legs of sustainability; reduce, reuse, recycle and economics, ecology,  
social equity, that is everything needed to make the planet and the society a better place to live. The organic  
cotton initiatives is a joint campaign by Soil Association & GOTS, which communicates the benefits of organic  
cotton for people and the environment, calling on brands, consumers and organizations to choose the right  
To conclude clothes made from organic fabrics are easy to maintain and clean. Despite low market  
share in clothing in the world, the demand for this fibre is growing at a rate of 30-35% per year. This shows an  
encouraging trend. Designers are working towards making green clothes more appealling, fashionable and  
economical. In some years, down the line, people would be spotted wearing trendy and stylish outfits made  
up of organic cotton and other eco fabrics. Manufacturers of today are considering organic garments to be  
ethical, and are striving to set new market trends. Apparel business is very enormous, and there is always a  
resistance to change. But with consumers dictating the market today; having an ‘organic wardrobe’ depends  
wholly on the consumer’s choice. The bottom line of every market is ‘demand’, and manufacturers will only do  
what the ‘consumers’ desire.  
G. Alison, R Timo ed, “Shaping Sustainable Fashion, Changing the Way We Make and Use Clothes”,  
Routledge Publication. 2011. Print.  
C. Binkley, “Which Outfit is the Greenest?”, Wall Street Journal. July 2012,. Print.  
E. Clark, “Sustainability Index Unveiled”, Women’s Wear Daily.July 2012, Print.  
M. Gunther, “Behind the Scenes at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition”, Green Biz, July Vol. Vogue, May  
“Earth to Fashion”, pgs 128-132. July 2012, Print.  
The Wall Street Journal, “7 Shades of Green: Decoding Eco Fashion’s Claims.” May 2008, Print.  
Planet Green, “Is Bamboo Fibre Sustainable?”. April 2008, Print.