Hello, Lebanon! It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m here to discuss something that some of us are a wee bit unfamiliar with: eco-friendly clothing.

Have you ever worn any clothes made out of synthetic fiber? Plastic, polyester, nylon, rayon, and so forth? Sure, we all have. However, synthetic fibers are actually a health hazard. They contain formaldehyde, a preservative typically used to preserve dead animals in biology labs. This chemical alone is very toxic.   Nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals, whose production creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that  is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Rayon is made from wood pulp that has been treated with chemicals, including caustic soda and sulphuric acid. Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles, and are carcinogenic. To top it off, these clothes are also treated with petro-chemical dyes.  ALL of the chemicals used in synthetic clothing have been linked to health problems including cancer, immune system damage, behavioral problems and hormone disruption.

Even non-organic cotton is hazardous. Conventional cotton farming requires 0.14 kg of chemical fertilizer to produce the fabric for one T-shirt. Cotton farming is also responsible for 25% of global insecticide  and 10% of global pesticide use. Here is the worst part…five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton cause cancer. After all, when wearing our clothes, don’t we inhale the chemicals?

Nor are these the only drawbacks. The cancer-causing synthetic top you bought for 15,000 L.L. is going to have to go into the garbage sometime. But it will take 450 years to decompose. In that time, the dyes and pesticides on it will leak into our water and soil, and contaminate it. Even the non-organic cotton top has dyes and pesticides that will contaminate the environment. Lebanon, we are buying cancer-causing clothing! Luckily, there is an easy solution that helps both us and the environment: eco-friendly clothing.

Eco-friendly clothes are made exclusively out of organic cotton, hemp, soy, and bamboo fibers. They are treated with organic dyes that decompose without harming the environment. Because they are created without all the pesticides and insecticides, they are far better for your health. Indeed, they are made without toxic agents, heavy metals, and otherwise harmful materials. They are soft, comfortable, and best of all, durable. They allow your body to breathe, and they last a longer time.

 If we choose to invest in materials such as ORGANIC cotton, wool, linen, cashmere,  silk, and hemp, we will be better off. These materials are typically more durable and allow the body to breathe better.  Materials to avoid are acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, triacetate, nylon, or anything labeled as static-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, permanent-press, no-iron, stain-proof or moth-repellant. For the sake of animal friendliness, we can also avoid wearing fur and leather clothing.

 There are even specific eco-friendly brands. While most of these are outside of the country, they are worth looking into while on you’re on vacation, or even investing in and bringing a branch here. Take a look: http://www.stylewithheart.com/category/eco-friendly/. Lebanon, let’s try to protect both our health and our environment. We can do it!