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Care What You Wear

Campaigning for Ecological & Ethical Clothing

Every time you buy a new article of clothing your purchase has a ripple effect on the environment. The global apparel industry is the second-largest industrial polluter. From the growing of GMO cotton, to the production of wool and synthetic fibers, to the dyes used on those fibers, to the factories where clothes are assembled—each step of the way, soil is degraded, water is polluted, laborers are exploited. Can consumers help drive the fashion industry away from this toxic model, toward a more ethical, regenerative model? Yes, if we buy wisely.

Why Care What You Wear?

The $3 trillion-dollar global clothing industry’s profits are built on degenerative agricultural practices, exploitative labor practices and relentless, pervasive advertising campaigns that make consumers feel inferior if they don’t wear the latest style.

The  “Care What You Wear” campaign’s aim is to educate consumers about why and how to buy clothes that support organic and regenerative farming, responsible production and fair labor practices, and to expose today’s fast-fashion industry which perpetuates ethically and environmentally unsound practices with its “buy more, cheaper clothes” message.

We can’t fix the global clothing industry’s complicated and “dirty” supply chain overnight. But by putting pressure on the worst offenders, and by supporting the brands that takes steps to clean up their supply chain, together, we can move the dial in the right direction.

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The Facts

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The apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and remains the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil.

It takes 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

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Cotton is the world’s single largest pesticide-consuming crop, using 24% of all insecticides and 11% of all pesticides globally, adversely affecting soil and water.

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A quarter of the chemicals produced in the world are used in textiles.

Regenerative Fiber: A Climate Solution

Regenerative fiber  includes animal- and plant–based fibers that are produced using carbon-farming and holistic management practices that increase ecosystem health and and combat global warming by sequestering carbon in the soil.

When fiber- and leather-producing animals (sheep, alpaca, cows) are raised using holistic management practices that build soil health, sequester carbon in the soil, and restore degraded landscapes, they become part of the climate solution, and part of a new regenerative fiber and fashion industry.

Innovative fiber farmers and ranchers, some of whom are RI partners,  are also building this new regenerative fiber industry by experimenting with more organic and regenerative production systems for fibers like like hemp, flax, bamboo and cotton.

Fibershed

Fibershedis a non-profit developing regional and regenerative fiber systems by expanding opportunities to implement carbon farming, forming catalytic foundations to rebuild regional manufacturing, and through connecting end-users to farms and ranches through public education.

Savory Land-to-Market Verification

Land-to-market verification will give you the power to identify products that have a positive impact on the soil, climate, and communities.

Buy Fiber Responsibly

As the organic and regenerative fiber industry develops and expands, several apparel and textile brands are investing in organic agriculture, and ensuring fair payment and just treatment of farmers and garment workers. We encourage you to become a responsible consumer, to dig deep. Get to know how your clothing fiber was farmed, who grew and sewed your clothes and the impact the contents of your your closet have on the environment. See Care What You Wear Care What You Wear Responsible Brand Directory for examples of great brands that are leading the organic, fair trade and regenerative fiber industry.

Become a Responsible Fiber Consumer

✓  Buy the most ecological and ethical options available
✓  Buy less, buy better quality
✓  Buy natural, plant- and animal-based fibers; avoid petroleum-based, non-biodegradable fibers
✓  Don't buy into fast-fashion trends
✓  Boycott fast-fashion brands
✓  Let companies know you want regeneratively farmed fibers
✓  Care for and repair your clothes throughout their lifetime
✓  Wash your microfibers responsibly
✓  Ask "who farmed and made my clothes?"
✓  Educate your community about the toxic fiber industry and the regenerative fiber solution

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