Our topic for this program is “Sustainable Fashion.” Unless we are content with monk’s robes or togas, we all use conventional clothing for our families and ourselves. Although fashion standards have become more casual, most people want to be modestly in style.  But we can be more environmentally friendly in how we dress ourselves. In this program we interview Paul Weinstein of Truly Organic Apparel, a company founded “as a way to bring naturally dyed, organic fabric to the Canadian and the US markets.” The parent company,  “Tenfold Organic Textiles,” markets, distributes and sells naturally dyed organic fabric to small to medium sized businesses and crafts people in the US and Canada.”  And we have tips at the end of the program for how to be environmentally conscious when you dress.

Listen to or download Ecotopia #9 online now!


  • Facts and assertions from Stan Cox, an environmentalist from Salinas, Kansas, in CounterPunch online magazine. He writes: “We’ve already stockpiled enough clothes to last us for years. The average annual shopping haul swelled from $1,550 per household in 2002 to $1,760 last year. That spending spree was prompted in part by what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says was a 30 percent drop in real apparel prices over the past decade. With cheap imports allowing a dollar to buy more, the physical bulk of garb purchased by the average household has risen 18 percent in just five years….” Stan has a lot more facts and information on sustainable fashion, and you can read his article at http://www.alternet.org/story/109065/
  • From the Yorkshire Times in the U.K. comes a story asking whether pesticides sprayed on British fields are a “time bomb” for health.  Sarah Freeman writes; “Cotton, for example, may seem harmless, but it is the most polluting crop on earth, using 25 per cent of the world’s pesticides.  For cotton to go from woolly ball to T-shirt it needs to be washed, bleached, dyed and printed – using at least 8,000 chemicals in the process. While many of those chemicals are classified by the World Health Organisation as ‘moderately hazardous’ to ‘acutely hazardous’, the jury is still out on how they, and the pesticides used on the crop to begin with, affect your health in both the short and long term.”  Read her article at  http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/features/Are-pesticides-the-biggest-timebomb.4747190.jp
  • And finally, Charlotte Mardon-Heath writes of “Dressing for a Credit Crunch” in the U.K.’s Seven magazine:  “Until recently, organic ethical dressing was more associated with sheep shearers in New South Wales than [high fashion shops]….[But] as the credit crunch bites and a simple purchase becomes more of an investment, organic clothing ticks all the right boxes. While global warming is worsening, ethical fashion arguably quells the mass-production industry and facilitates fair trade with other countries and independent farmers. However, in our fast-paced, self-centred society, it has taken a crisis that affects people on a personal level to realise this on an effectual scale. The time it takes for our economy to recover needs to be long enough to give people an opportunity to re-evaluate how they spend their money so that, hopefully, the more sustainable independents have their foot in the door. As fashion is such a lucrative industry, empowerment of ethical clothing lines will have massive consequences across the world on social and environmental levels. “  http://www.sevenglobal.org/  Her article is reprinted at: www.ethicalclothingonline.com  an excellent site with a number of sustainable fashion resources.


Paul Weinstein is President and General Manager of Truly Organic Apparel. You can find them on the web at www.Truly-Organic.com.


  • The online Green Guide has an article by Janna Leyde that provides a run-down of companies producing—in various ways—green clothing. In the past, green products, like 100% organic cotton, have been very pricey. However, there are some alternatives. www.thegreenguide.com
  • We remain healthily skeptical about the Green Wave of products, new or recycled, and no matter how good these products are, there’s still environmental concern about the amount of new clothing material is being unleashed on the world. But www.planetgreen.discovery.com has a number of ideas for reusing clothing through thrift shops, garage sales, and clothing swaps.
  • Also check www.greenlivingideas.com for ideas concerning reuse and recycling, plus ideas on how to make your clothing last longer.   And we end with this idea from Green Living Ideas: “There is still much room for improving sustainability in the clothing industry.  By altering our habits and desires to obtain the newest and latest fashions, we can decrease the sheer volume of new clothing that is produced.  By purchasing fewer and more durable garments that are designed to last for more than one season, we may learn to make our clothing into something that we cherish rather than something we consistently seek to replace at the turn of the season.”


1. Devil With a Blue Dress On         3:35    Mitch Ryder   

2.  Cotton Needs Picking     4:22    Dan Smith      Good Morning Blues                        

3.  Better Together    3:28    Jack Johnson                                    

4   A Summer Wind, A Cotton Dress          3:55    Richard Shindell       

5  Girls In Their Summer Clothes    5:19    Bruce Springsteen                                

6   Weave Me the Sunshine 4:28    Peter, Paul And Mary