Blue Jeans, Not Green

NOw that many of us no longer wear white shirts and neckties, now that suits or even dress slacks are not often work-requirements, the uniform for many of us includes a pair of jeans. I am wearing a pair right now.

NOw that many of us no longer wear white shirts and neckties, now that suits or even dress slacks are not often work-requirements, the uniform for many of us includes a pair of jeans. I am wearing a pair right now. One environmental group just asked "How Green are Your Jeans?" Answer: NOT.

There's the blue dye based on fossil fuels. The "stone-washed" models which means chemically treated and probably by workers with no workplace health protection. Some cotton farming is organic, some definitely not. And those metal rivets and zippers? Think about copper and zinc mining and do not imagine this is either clean nor energy-efficient.

Levi Strauss is a privately-held company and big player in the jean industry. Here's the link to their environmental policy. Levi's began selling a line of organic cotton jeans in the U.S. two years ago.Here's part of Levi's statement: "We know that we must look beyond design and production to assess the potential effects of our business on the environment.

"We also recognize that the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contributor to global climate change, and we are committed to reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) from our operations globally."

Wal-Mart is the #1 clothing retailer in the U.S. They continue to pursue ever more organic cotton, so check those labels if you can afford to do any shopping in the near future. If you google "organic cotton jeans," you'll get over 150,000 hits. Many of those are for retailers. Bloomies will sell you a pair for less than $250, BTW. Meanwhile, the longer you wear those old jeans the "greener" they get.

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