Eco-Apparel Terminology

by jchamlin 14. March 2011 11:36
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Green Benefits has been in the business of offering green and  eco-apparel options since 2007.  Over the years we have found there is a lot to know about sustainability and the details can lead to a great deal of confusion.  Many people who oppose using eco-appareloften believe that eco-apparel is 1)  expensive and 2)  lesser quality.  Neither are generally true and often eco-apparel feels better than traditionally manufactured virgin materials .  Eco-apparel makes good sense and is economically affordable as well.

As a refresher, here is a short list of eco-friendly textiles entering the eco-apparel marketplace, you’ll find it helpful to brush up on some “green” options:

  • Organic fabricsuse no pesticides, herbicides or insecticides during the growing cycle.  This is one of the easiest places to start with a marginally higher cost, the imprint options on organic eco-apparel are often softer and more comfortable than traditional cotton material. 
  • Soy silk uses liquefied proteins (a by-product of making tofu) forced into fibers which are then spun.
  • Ingeo corn fiber is created by extracting starch and then sugars from corn, and processing them into a form which can be spun into a yarn or woven into fabric.
  • Fortrel EcoSpun polyester is made out of recycled plastic bottles and is frequently used for fleece.
  • Biodegradable fabric has the ability to naturally break down and return to raw material or to be absorbed by the earth. The Federal Trade Commission guidelines say only products that contain materials which “break down and decompose into elements found in nature within a reasonably short amount of time when they are exposed to air, moisture and bacteria or other organisms” should be labeled biodegradable.
  • Natural bleaching means that hydrogen peroxide was used to whiten fibers, rather than a chemical such as chlorine.
  • Bamboo fabric is made from the cellulose fibers of the plant. It’s naturally antibacterial and 100% biodegradable and sustainable.

Green Benefits offers many of these eco-apparel options and is happy to source anything that you don’t find on our web site.  We specialize in sourcing eco-apparel and other eco-friendly products.  Please review our eco apparel where you will find:  custom print eco-apparel organic t-shirts, Recycled Polyester Polo’s and much more.

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Apparel

Cotton Prices Hit Record High

by jchamlin 10. March 2011 11:44
gb-raw-cottonIf you are considering any custom printed apparel now is the time to buy before the new high prices work through the system.  As a proactive company we want to help our customers get great value from our products and services.  Global pressure on cotton futures will effect us all over time.  Below is a small excerpt on the status of cotton prices.  Again, if you are considering organic t-shirts, custom printed recycled t-shirts or other t-shirt or organic apparel items buy soon, before prices increase to the end user.  The pricing below is on traditional cotton, however we have found that organic cotton which is generally more expensive is directly influenced as well.  We have seen price increases from our wholesale suppliers, on organic t-shirts, organic sweatshirts and other organic cotton products. 

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Amid concerns that global supplies may not satisfy rising demand – particularly in China – the price of cotton soared again this week, hitting an all-time high. At the close of a seven-day rally on Monday, cotton futures reached $2.197 per pound, which is more than double the cost of the commodity compared to this time last year. Prices finally stabilized mid-week following a report from the International Cotton Advisory Committee that global cotton output will rise 11% this year to a record 27.6 million metric tons. The increase in output is becoming more necessary, as China alone imported 390,720 metric tons of cotton in January, a 31% rise. China's Ministry of Commerce said the country will continue to actively expand its imports of cotton in 2011.

The U.S. is taking a lead in cotton production, recently exporting 403,341 bales in one week to countries including China, Turkey and Bangladesh. U.S. export sales of cotton rose 56% in late February, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Since last year, the rapid rise of cotton has steadily increased the cost of items like T-shirts, polos and jeans.

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With the above information in mind, the sooner you buy the less likely these high prices will directly effect your organic t-shirt or organic sweatshirt purchases.   What are your thoughts on the rapid increase in some commodity items like cotton?

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