What are your clothes made of?

What are your clothes made of?
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When it comes to shopping, there are many different factors we tend to consider. If you are like me, the list will look something like this: the occasion, the style, the colors, the garment care and our budget. But have you ever stopped and wondered if you are making the right choice regarding fabrics? No? Well, it is time you do! 
There are two types of fabrics, natural fabrics like cotton, silk, wool, etc. and synthetic fabrics, like polyester, nylon, spandex, etc. 
Natural fibers come from nature, meaning, they originate form a plant or animal and they do not need to be chemically altered to be used as a fiber. Nevertheless, I found it interesting to know that some natural fibers may contain chemicals, such as, pesticides, herbicides or insecticides used by growers.  However, there is a type of natural fiber that we can favor because it does not contain any chemical treatments, making it a healthier option. This type of fabrics is called ORGANIC natural fabrics and are commonly made out of organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, jute, ramie or wool.
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But watch out! Because, even though bamboo is considered one of the most ecologic fabrics of them all, it may actually be extremely harmful to the environment if it is transformed using a chemical procedure. This altered bamboo can come in the shape of, modal, bamboo rayon or viscose. So, make sure to really read the contents in the tag of your garment!
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Moreover, synthetic fabrics are man-made fabrics made entirely out of chemicals. And although they are known for being more resilient and cheaper to produce, they are obtained from petroleum and they require a complex procedure that could deeply harm our planet.
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On the other hand, natural fibers are more comfortable to wear than synthetic fibers, because natural fibers are more breathable, more absorbent, and softer. So, if you want a fabric that’s environment friendly and comfortable, I think it is better to opt for a fabric made of natural fibers.
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 Not convinced yet? Let me put it in a simpler way with this chart:
 

Natural fibers

Synthetic fibers

Grow in nature

Man-made

No chemicals needed at any point of the production

Chemical solution is needed for production

Price is higher

Cheaper

Slightly less durable, but higher quality

More durable

Environment friendly

Not environment friendly

It grows in its natural color

Colors are added in a solution bath

May contain some natural impurities

No dust or impurities

 
Believe it or not, we are damaging the planet by buying garments made of synthetic fabrics. How, you may ask? Well, every time we wash our clothes, these garments release the chemicals they are made of, into the water. This water may go to some lake or ocean, and because it is contaminated with chemicals, it could infect the animals leaving in there and even the animals and humans that drink water from this sources. Inevitably, when a person gets rid of a garment made from synthetic fibers, it would take years for it to decompose and the chemicals it will release, by impregnating them into the soil or by burning the garments, could also harshly damage the environment.  
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In addition, there is another essential factor to consider, which I must admit, I never thought of it as important. This factor is the fabric dye used to add color to your clothes. There are also synthetic and natural dyes, and following the same principle as the fibers, synthetic dyes are made of oil and chemicals while natural dyes come from living organisms, like plants or insects. In addition, synthetic dyes could damage your health with conditions that can go form an irritation to a dangerous cancer. 
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Natural fibers, on the other hand, are grown in their natural color, which means they are not exposed to any chemical treatments to dye them, as mentioned before, their dyes are made from other natural elements, like plants or insects.
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 So, you might want to think twice before complaining about natural fibers losing their colors, or changing in texture. They do this, because they are NATURAL and well, everything that comes from nature changes, n’est-ce pas?
 At Odeyalo, we believe in ethical and conscious fashion. And even though, with local production it is sometimes hard to know exactly what a fabric is made of or where it comes form, we always try our best to be as transparent and ethical as possible and to inform our clients of every single detail concerning their garments. Furthermore, it is extremely important for us to offer our clients clothing made from natural fabrics that are, not only last longing and of high quality, but, that are also good for our planet and safe for our customers. And, although we do have some garments made from fabrics that may contain a small percentage of synthetic fabrics, such as, polyester, spandex, nylon, rayon or viscose, we try to concentrate in offering a wider selection of natural fibers. Among our most popular natural fabrics we have, cotton, hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.
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Are you ready to love your clothes by being conscious about your decisions?

 


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