In the consumer realm, the word “organic” is thrown around as an instant and easy marketing tactic to make green happy people spend extra money for clothes or food. Now, I do understand why organic clothes are more expensive, and I also love organic fair trade clothes, however Levi’s barely falls under this term. Their company is using the word to make you buy more, without really giving you the promised organic clothes.
How can they do that? Well, let me explain.
For their organic line, Levi does indeed use organic cotton. That means pesticide free and all the other implications of organic clothing. However, that is where the organic side ends.
You see, Levi can be considered organic due to this organic cotton, as that is what the government requires for such a label to be affixed to clothing. When it comes to the processing, everything is the same as normal clothing.
They go through the same machine to separate the seeds from the cotton. Now, while this process does not tamper with the organic status, it does still harm factory workers and expose them to cotton dust which dangerously irritates the lungs. I’ll talk about this later with fair trade issues.
The real shocker is the treatment they use on the denim. Denim is a very, VERY stiff material. With real organic jeans, there is a team hired to beat the clothes until they are soft. In the regular mass market, enzymes and chemicals are used instead. Which one do you think Levi is using?
Also, real organic clothing uses organic dyes harnessed from flowers, stones, or vegetables. Levi is once again disappointing in that they utilize the same chemical dyes in their normal jeans.
With the fair trade issue I was talking about, there is a certain stigma flying around that buying organic clothes must translate to paying factory workers fairly. All too common though, this is incorrect. Levi does not pay factory workers adequately and exposes them to harmful substances, just as they normally would.
If you want real organic clothing, you have to look somewhere else. While the cotton is organic, you’re not getting much else. So either save the money and continue getting regular clothes, or search online and find real organic clothing. Normally organic clothing will describe their entire process, and will let you know exactly how and why their clothes are organic.
Information gathered from: http://greencotton.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/does-organic-cotton-equal-organic-jeans/