Pardon my French people, but let me explain how this goes...
Sometime about a year or two ago, I declared myself a Paltrow-free zone, refusing to utter her name for at least a full week, as she seemed attached to EVERYTHING I was doing and believed in for a time, and I just couldn't believe how often I was uttering her name. Sensing that my involuntary fandom was bordering dangerously on worship, I cut the Gwyneth cord, and tried to go cold turkey.
This summer happened. My daughter went vegetarian, I supported/am supporting her choice, I opened my Gwyneth cookbook (and now it's looking like I'm gonna have to buy the others) to reveal even more exciting recipes and ideas than the ones I've already fallen in love with, I watched some great social documentaries about the way we live and what we consume... (see Vegucated, Living on One Dollar, Chelsea Handler's Netflix show - grownups only - but very much worth watching, if you have an open mind a reasonable tolerance/willingness to ignore/allow profanity and delicate topics), my favorite episode of Glee (see above), the movie Shallow Hal, which I've now seen at least 10 times! and now, here I am... just head over heels again. I wanna just scream "*** you!" (I'm not a profanity girl, so that's the best I can do) at her for reeling me back in again, sitting on my shoulder like some sort of nagging reminder that I have a responsibility to the planet, my family, and myself. Grumble.
A paraphrase of her comment on a recent talk show was, "How is it that we allow ourselves to buy products and have no idea what's in them? And the makers have no obligation to tell us, either!" That is insane. Yes, we should know where our food comes from, anything we slather on our skin or hair, what's in it, what our clothes are made of, what chemicals are in the dyes and fabrics. We should not be denied that information. But... it's outrageous for us not to seek it, either.
Truth be told, there is a health component to what we are wearing, consuming, slathering on. We can dismiss passionate people as goofy idealists, but this is our lives we are talking about... and more voices are chiming in.
Another example of this sentiment below:
I’ve been on a journey as I’ve gotten older, of really thinking much more about the environment, about health and wellness. I think particularly because of my work around trauma, which is very focused on the body. It makes you aware of the impact the environment can have on your body and brain. The Columbia School of Public Health did a study recently showing that certain pesticides used in public housing products caused developmental delays in those children. Our first instinct is to blame parents for those delays, but it was the environment that really played that role. I started to see the impact of environment on physical well being, and think more deeply about what I’m eating, what I put on my skin. Even about the sun: when I was growing up you put baby oil on and burnt to a crisp. It’s the ongoing realization of how powerful environment is, and how it can impact your brain and body and what’s inside of you. I’ve noticed differences in how I feel when I eat organic food versus processed food. It’s an ongoing journey.
-Lyn Slater of Zady Lady
So, the point here... if you are a creative person who cares about the environment, extensive sourcing and questions of the buyer in the establishment will inform you about the fabrics you may wish to purchase to make your goods, but it still won't get you there entirely. Research is important, for sure, and will educate you somewhat, but eventually, you will have to rely on limited sources for your goods if you want to be true to the mission.
In the garment district, the brick and mortar stores I have recently noticed carrying either organic cottons, bamboo, hemp, or other eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics are NY Elegant, B&J Fabrics, Mood, and Grayline Linen. It is a tough road to environmentally responsible choices, and nothing but consumer education will bring us any closer to healthier options overall.