Clothing & Clay

I received a package in the mail from Rivendell Bikes the other day. My husband had bought me some mud-guards so if it ever snows in Boulder again I can still ride my bike. He also bought me a Rivendell t-shirt, which while not the sexiest piece of clothing you can get from your husband is still pretty cool. Turns out the t-shirt is made by a company called Earth Creations. Most of their t-shirts are made in the US – in rural Alabama, no less. You never hear much about rural Alabama… It sounds like they try and ensure that people, who work for them or work for companies they might use to sew their garments, are treated fairly.  They also the support the Fair Trade and Sweat-Shop Free philosophy.

They dye shirts using clay or low-impact dyes.  I didn’t know this but most conventional dying methods use a lot of salt, which can end up in rivers and streams. Most of these conventional methods have been banned in the US.  The t-shirt I got is really soft and the color is a bit muted, which isn’t bad. According to the site, they use sustainable fabrics, like bamboo and hemp, but my shirt is made from 100% cotton.  The medium is a bit big and it is pre-shrunk so this will never be a fitted-t.

Recently, I have seen a number of these sustainable-type, fair trade clothing shops or their goods appearing in different shops. Finally, it seems they are getting away from the mother-earth and hemp look, which is all fine and good if it is your style.


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