Feb 162010
Authors: Matt Miller

As car companies make environmentally friendly cars and electricity becomes cleaner, Tracey Kennedy, senior apparel and merchandising major, and Fashion Group International are making more sustainable clothes.

A movement for environmentally friendly clothes is popping up at college campuses around the nation including CSU. The “green clothing movement” has become a trend in fashion to make clothing and help the environment.

“It’s all good for the environment and for us and future generations,” Kennedy said.
Cotton, which is used to make most clothes, is grown using five of the top nine cancer-causing pesticides. This movement hopes to cut back on this negative impact on the environment.

At CSU, apparel and merchandising majors are doing their part to push this trend by creating clothes out of recycled fabric and hosting a recycled fashion show every year. In past years, Kennedy has gone so far as to create a dress out of cardboard and duct tape.

Other colleges like the University of Delaware have made great strides in the movement by creating an organization to help teach businesses and consumers what is sustainable.

While this movement has until now been geared toward college age students, major companies are making strides to make green clothing. Nike has begun to market a brand of recycled shoes, REI is producing green clothes and even Wal-mart has a line of environmentally friendly clothing.

“It’s the cool thing to do right now — to have a garment made out of recycled material,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy added that the green movement has moved from being sold by only outdoor companies to more fashion-oriented companies.

“American Apparel has played a big part in bringing environmentally friendly clothing mainstream,” Kennedy said. “The clothing at American Apparel is all 100 percent organic cotton.”

Although consumers support the idea of green clothing the problem is getting them to carry out that support at stores, said Karen Hyllegard, professor of design and merchandising.

“I don’t think it’s something all consumers will adopt,” Hyllegard said. “They want something that fits well, is cheaper and more fashionable.”

The movement is hindered by the higher price of the sustainable clothing. A single T-shirt can cost upward of $30.

“It’s a really cool idea,” said sophomore biology major Jodie Clementson, “but where do you draw the line between saving the environment and saving money?”

Many younger green clothing companies are appearing in response to the sudden interest by consumers. Bamboo U, a small company out of Brentwood, Tenn., is focusing on making clothing out of bamboo and organic cotton.

“I wanted to start my own business, and do something positive,” said Jeff Fulmer, the owner of Bamboo U. “It’s kind of a labor of love, not profit driven.”

The shirts at Bamboo U are made from the pulp inside the bamboo, which is broken down into a fiber. The process produces no byproducts.

“I targeted college students because I feel they are more conscious about the environment and open to new things,” Fulmer said.

Although the clothing is not yet available in Colorado, Fulmer hopes to get in contact with boutiques in the Fort Collins area to sell his product. The shirts are available online at http://www.bamboo-u.com.

Staff writer Matt Miller can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:51 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.