Buy "bast" or other more eco-friendly fibers. Do look for organic textiles, but the certification is brand new, so don't expect to find much in the very near future. In the absence of a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) fabric as a practical choice, pay attention to the fiber used in any textile you buy. Currently, conventionally raised cotton (versus organic cotton) and synthetic fibers (those made from petroleum) are the world's most popular fibers by far. They are also, by far, the very worst fabric choices you can make for the health of your family and the planet. When choosing a natural fiber, try to avoid buying anything made with conventional cotton. This may be hard at his date. But, if you have a choice, linen, hemp, bamboo, abaca, wool, or any other natural fiber are good additions to the world's textile choices, and much better eco choices than conventionally raised cotton. If you MUST choose a synthetic fiber, insist on recycled polyester, that is, at minimum, certified to the Global Recycled Standard, GRS.
Why avoid conventionally raised cotton? Currently cotton is the world's most popular natural fiber - accounting for 80% of all natural fibers used in the world - and the world's worst environmental and health choice. The cultivation of cotton is such a thorough environmental and health disaster as to be almost unbelievable. The cultivation of cotton requires inordinate amounts of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Conventional cotton must be drenched with chemicals: it accounts for 25% of all the pesticides used globally**. And on average, in addition to this huge volume of pesticides, farmers apply seven times more chemical fertilizer on cotton crops than they do pesticides; and they use 10% of all herbicides used in the world. These chemicals pollute the groundwater, enter the food chain. Many of the chemicals used on cotton are listed among the most hazardous pollutants by the Environmental Protection Agency. Conventionally grown cotton is so full of pesticides that in California farmers can no longer legally use the leftover leaves and stems to feed their livestock. Cotton cultivation also demands vast quantities of water, resulting in soil salinization, aquifer depletion and desertification of large tracts of entire countries.
Although the cultivation of organic cotton largely solves the problems associated with the use of chemicals, organic cotton is still classified as one of the top “thirsty” crops by Oxfam, leading to the same problems of soil salinization, aquifer depletion and desertification***. But organic cotton is a better choice than conventional cotton. Do not buy anything made from conventionally raised cotton if you can possibly do this. Linen, bamboo, hemp and abaca are good additions to the world's fiber choices.
The Fabric NamePuget was named after Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and part of the newly recognized Salish Sea. The United States Geological Survey defines Puget Sound as a bay with numerous channels and branches; more specifically, it's a fjord system of flooded glacial valleys. The term "Puget Sound" is used not just for the body of water but also for the Puget Sound region centered on the sound, including the cities of Seattle and Tacoma.
clothing, drapery, upholstery, anything!
- abrasion test results: 40,000 Martindale
- care: In cool water and air, pre-shrunk; In hot, 10% shrinkage.
- certification: Cotton only certified organic; but, as in all of our fabrics, GOTS compliant processing from field to finished fabric.
- content: 33% hemp; 19% linen; 21% ramie*; 27% organic cotton
- railroaded: varies, but subtle
- weight: 15 oz yd2 / 509 gm m2
- width: 54" / 137 cm
*Ramie is a natural fiber, a bast fiber as are linen and hemp. Bast means the fiber is drawn from the stalk of the plan and not the flower, as with cotton. Bast fibers can be grown with no chemical inputs as the bugs are not drawn to flowers. Bast fibers are difficult to separate from the lignins and glues in the stalk, and the separation can be done by chemicals (boo!), water (boo if not treated and it is almost always NOT treated), or in the field, which is what we do. One of the major reasons why a hemp fabric should be GOTS certified.
**Allen, Will, “Fact Sheet on U.S. Cotton Subsidies and Cotton Production”, Feb. 2004, Organic Consumers Association, www.organicconsumers.org/clothes/224subsidies.cfm
*** World Wildlife Fund (www.panda.org) “Cotton: a water wasting crop.”