Natural, Organic or Recycled - What's Your Pleasure?

by John Hamlin 21. April 2009 15:49

With Earth Day occurring this week, we though it was time to share a bit of information about “green” materials, and to clarify what eco-friendly means.   We receive many request about our products, including standard questions about what it means to be made of natural, recycled, organic or some combination of materials.  Here is a bit of basic information on some of the options we carry and few fabric options that to consider.

Bamboo fibers are certainly natural, typically organic and absolutely sustainable in that the plant grows prolifically. An added benefit is that bamboo has antibacterial properties, so that the fabric is a naturally odor- and bacteria-resistant option.  We love bamboo for for its soft silky feel.  We generally only sell our bamboo items as blank product, but can on occasion custom print or embroider for those that want a high quality natural product.

Like bamboo, cotton is a natural option, though it traditionally has required a significant amount of chemicals to grow in abundance. In fact, conventional cotton is one of the world’s most agro-chemically intensive crops per unit. It has been estimated that traditionally grown cotton takes about 1/3 lbs. of pesticides to produce one pound of cotton!  Organic cotton crops – tended with fertilizers and “pesticides” of plant or animal origin – have made the difference for cotton in eco-friendly markets. Green Benefits now offers all of our custom print products in an Organic Cotton.  In fact we now have a GREAT 100% Organic Cotton Custom print T-Shirt with FULL COLOR graphics for only $9.00 per shirt! 

Another natural fabric to consider for the environmentally concerned is hemp. This fiber is valued for its durability and softness. It is naturally resistant to UV rays. Green Benefits doesn't currently stock any hemp products, but will on request provide hemp as an option for your custom apparel. 

Yet another option for your fabric choice can be made from recycled materials. We encourage and desire to move away from petroleum-based textiles such as polyesters however there are alternatives that allow us to offer shirts, sweatshirts, fleece garments and fleece blankets made using recycled materials. For example, garments made from recycled PET filaments (extruded from broken down plastic water and soda bottles) are sustainable and useful. The benefit is that they deter the build up of plastics in landfills, which do not biodegrade. Yet, the value of a polyester garment – its durability and colorfastness – is preserved.


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