Sunday, September 7, 2014

Our Responsibility

    This one is a toughie.  I admit it.  It is a situation that effects every aspect of the Attire dialog as it is currently being used.
    I've written and spoken before about the importance of our taking the time, and investing the energy, personally, into finding out how our clothes are produced, and where.  Well, another aspect of this issue is what the clothes are made from.  You see, the huge first growth forests of the world are continuing to shrink rapidly, and a huge part of why this is so, is the textile industry.  Not only is the manufacture of fabric one of the chief polluters in the world, but the production of fibers like rayon, viscose, modal, and tencel are all largely made from wood pulp.  And since we are, (lets just admit it, shall we?) addicted to the new and the fashionable, the industry drives forward cutting down more trees, seizing more land and in short hastening the day when we cannot turn back from the brink of eco-collapse.  And its driven even faster by the current mania for all things bamboo.  See, bamboo grows very fast, which is a good thing, in production terms, and it can grow in a wide variety of climates. Also a good thing.  However, when amazon forests are denuded to make way for bamboo, so that we can have household goods, and on point with this discussion, textiles containing bamboo, we are not only skewing ecosystems that have been safely in place for millennia, but we are harming the peoples of those countries thinning out their access to things they have traditionally used themselves.  All to fuel a desire to seem "green" by using something made with bamboo.
    So, between the pulping of trees all over the world, to the over-planting of bamboo, we are narrowing the focus of the global ecosystem and very likely helping to create a scenario from which we cannot retreat in safety.
    What am I asking for here?  I'm not telling you to boycott, or stop shopping.  I only ask of you this, when you do shop, don't ask for a bag, carry one of the doubtless many reusable ones you already have.  Look at content labels carefully.  And overall, think more about re-using, re-purposing and recycling what you do have.
    And to sum up, one of the things that makes me so sad, and gives me real pause is that in a real sense, these materials we are talking about here are wise choices, because they are renewable resources; and being plant matter, they contribute to the health of the planet.  What makes that a sad thing for me is that we have taken these things to a wild extreme in terms of production, and so are ending up doing much more harm, than good.  So, its not about not using pulp or bamboo at all, but being far more prudent about when and how we do so.

And here, courtesy of one of our friends here and on FB, the link to an article about this.


  1. Very important! The production of cotton in Australia is quite catastrophic for the environment, but I hadn't thought about the production of bamboo in those terms.

  2. basically we are, like with virtually everything else we are doing over-producing products, and overusing the resources we have to hand. The results, if we do nothing to curb ourselves, will be beyond our real imagining.