Agriculture and Sustainability,  Lifestyle,  Waste

Feature: Cedar of Cedar Organics talks sustainable fashion

What is Cedar Organics about in one sentence?

Cedar Organics is about addressing the issues we are faced with within the fashion industry and offering the most sustainable and ethical product whilst educating people on these issues.

What sparked your initial interest in sustainable fashion?

After working for one of Australia’s largest fast fashion brands for a year straight out of uni, my eyes were opened to how destructive fast fashion is on the environment and the lives involved throughout the supply chain, particularly manufacturing. I was working with cheap synthetic materials and designing new collections every 3-4 weeks of around 70-100 pieces that were heavily trend driven. I’ve never been one to exactly follow trends as I believe that at the pace trends are moving now days this is one of the major issues behind how destructive the industry is to the environment. Toward the end of my year there I started working on Cedar Organics, building socials, working with young pattern makers and sample machinists, testing out naturally dying and researching the most sustainable fabrics I could use. I’d have to say that if it weren’t for working in such a place, my eyes would not have been opened to the issues I have discovered in that time and I may not have been in the same frame of mind as I am in now, and unaware of the issues involved in synthetic materials, agriculture involved in fabric production and the slave and child labour involved in manufacturing.

What are the most sustainable fabrics that people should look at for?

There are so many factors that influence whether a fabric is sustainable or not, and you also want to keep in mind of how ethical the material is as well. If you’re unfamiliar with fabrics, It’s always good to have a read up on the difference between synthetics and natural fibres and the breakdown of each ie. where they originally come from, the water/energy consumption and what chemicals are involved. Organic non GMO Cotton, Linen, Hemp, Ethically sourced wool and Peace silk are all fabrics to look out for, however not always the easiest or most common to find. Be careful with bamboo as majority of the time it has been processed using a chemical called carbon disulphide which is highly toxic and threatening to the worker’s life. Viscose (Bamboo) is produced by taking a cellulose source, most commonly woodchips, which is then dissolved in sodium hydroxide and carbon disulphide. This solution is pushed into threads through a device like a showerhead. The fibres are drawn out through an acid bath that makes them go hard, producing a viscose fibre ready for spinning.

What are some issues with clothing and its production that we might not know? For example, I recently found out that when we wash clothes microfibers enter the water ways. 

  • Try and veer away from buying clothing made from synthetic materials as each time you wash these garments synthetic microfibers are being washed into our waterways and oceans. This ultimately is affecting drinking water, agriculture and marine life.
  • The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to global warming!
  • It is the largest supporter of slave and child labour

There are endless underlying issues behind the fashion industry, the fact that you can buy a t-shirt for $4 from Kmart is heartbreaking and there are not enough people educated to know that this is okay. The lack of education about the fashion industry and what small decisions you can make to help change this is astonishing however I do see an increase in demand for eco-clothing over the past year which regardless of whether it too is a trend or not it’s better than nothing!

Can the clothing we wear impact our skin and health? 

Our skin is our body’s largest organ. We have lymph glands in all the area’s you’re most likely going to be wearing synthetic materials in underwear and even having these materials sitting on our skin during the day is in fact impacting our skin. if you consider a synthetic materials as its original state (non-renewable oil) is it something you would want to be sitting on your skin? Most likely not. If you care about what skin care products you use, or where your food comes from and what is in it – you would definitely want to be making sure you’re not putting anything harmful on your skin on a day to day basis.

What are your favorite sustainable clothing brands?

  • Bassike (their organic cotton jersey)
  • KowTow
  • Vege Threads
  • Pansy Co
  • Base Range
  • Veja (Shoes)
  • Matt & Nat (Bags)
  • Camp Cove (Swimwear)
  • Miss Crabb

Check out Well Made Clothes for the best curated brands to shop offering eco products!

What are essentials in your wardrobe couldn’t you live without? 

I’d have to say my Bassike black tee, RM’s, an enormous oversized linen dress I made and my Bassike Japanese denim jeans. I wear them all to death!!!

 

Interview of Cedar Purchase of Cedar Organics.

For beautiful organic cotton intimates and swim hand died in Australia check Cedar Organics.

Is your wardrobe sustainable? Find out what fabrics are and which aren’t, here.

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