Superlist no. 804Feral apparel
Organic fair-trade clothing is as close to au naturel as it gets.
By Renee Macalino Rutledge
ORGANIC ISN'T JUST what you eat it can also be what you wear. If you need new duds, you don't have to give your money to exploitative sweatshop-happy retailers. Instead, put your dollars behind fashion that not only looks good but also supports your politics and sense of responsibility. The following will help you find new threads that are as wholesome as nature, and just as green.
Swirlspace Eco-Fashion sells hip, locally designed clothing made from hemp, organic cotton, and recycled fiber. It features casual and dressy styles for men and women manufactured without sweatshop labor. 593 Guerrero, S.F. (415) 255-8411, www.swirlspace.com.
Patagonia clothing is made from organic cotton and recycled fleece and fabrics. Environmental harm from manufacturing, growing processes, dyes, and finishes is kept to a minimum. Its line consists of active wear and sportswear for men, women, and children. 770 North Point, S.F. (415) 771-2050, www.patagonia.com.
Sahara Organics stocks comfortable clothing for men and women spun not just from fine organic cotton and hemp but also from silk blends. Its clothing caters to the chemically sensitive and is made with botanical dyes. The company believes in good labor practices, including the ethical treatment of workers, clean working conditions, and a living wage. 209 Kearny, S.F. 1-877-4-SAHARA, www.saharaorganics.com.
Sharing a showroom with Sahara, the clothing at A Happy Planet is also made from organic, natural, and renewable threads. The store's mission is to offer sustainable, quality products that do not compromise workers, animals, or the earth in their production, use, or disposal cycles. Its organic cotton clothing consists of men's, women's, and children's styles. 209 Kearny, S.F. (415) 221-4227, www.ahappyplanet.com.
Speesees sells all-organic cotton baby gear, made with a fair-trade and pro-environmental stance. 2325 Third St., Ste. 413, S.F. (415) 552-5808, www.speesees.com.
The Sierra Club, based in San Francisco, is dedicated to protecting the environment and the earth's natural resources. To extend its mission, it sells clothing made of organic cotton or renewable materials produced to leave the smallest environmental footprint. Its comfortable outdoor wear for men and women is available through the Sierra Club's online store. www.sierraclub.org.
In addition to an array of green products such as appliances, lighting, and home furnishings, Green Home sells apparel for women, men, and children. The 100 percent chemically untreated clothing is made from organic cotton, hemp, and eco-fleece and includes footwear, underwear, and winter accessories. The online retailer is based in San Francisco. www.greenhome.com.
Xerces Blue Clothing sells innovative and stylish clothing for women. 1-866-679-4333, www.xercesblue.com.
Just Living provides socially conscious clothing options. Versatile clothes for men, women, and children are available; all are made from organic cotton, pure-grown wool, and hemp fibers. The clothing is made by local and regional vendors and artisans and by larger manufacturers that use cotton grown in the United States. 137 N. Main, Sebastopol. (707) 823-4499, www.justliving.net.
Two Star Dog offers men's and women's sportswear made from organic cotton and hemp, which is grown with little to no chemical pesticides. The company's manufacturing is done 80 to 90 percent locally and is completely sweatshop free. Though primarily a wholesaler, the Berkeley store is open to the public. 1370 10th St., Berk. (510) 525-1100, www.twostardog.com.
Get your T-shirts at Splendor Designs, where environmentally friendly, custom-designed prints are available on 100 percent organic cotton, sweatshop-free shirts. 2512 Telegraph, Berk. (510) 658-1237, www.splendor-designs.com.
Wildlife Works, headquartered in Sausalito, runs what it calls a "consumer-powered conservation" business, meaning that the clothes you buy will help save the habitats of elephants, cheetahs, and other mammals. The organization also helps to create jobs and build schools for local communities that share their resources with wildlife. Wildlife Works' contemporary clothing for men, women, and kids is made from organic cotton, hemp, and other environmentally friendly fabrics. The company is careful to utilize fair trade and labor practices. 475 Gate Five Rd., Ste. 120, Sausalito. (415) 332-8081, www.wildlife-works.com.
Spiral Woman offers comfortable clothing in an array of colors and natural designs. The organic cotton-fiber clothing is made in the United States using sweatshop-free labor. The artwork on the clothing is printed with water-soluble ink on a manual press, and it conveys nature themes and the spirit and strength of women. This one-woman business is headquartered in the East Bay, but the clothing is available for purchase online. 1021 Broadway, Ste. 205A, San Pablo. (510) 233-3266, www.spiralwoman.com.