Green Garment Campaign

By: TopHat

March was a purging time for me. I dove into my closet and drawers and reassessed what fits and doesn’t and what needs to go out on the curb. After almost four continuous years of either being pregnant, breastfeeding, or both, I decided that I need to come up with a plan to restock the closet as eco-consciously as possible. I vowed to buy only secondhand if I could help it, and fair trade and sustainable where I couldn’t. This works for many items: shirts, shoes, pants, skirts, and even bathing suits and bras.

Meanwhile, a couple of states over, Jena, a doula friend of mine, was spending a month with a client, waiting for a baby to arrive. They came across many topics of conversation and off-handedly organic, sustainable garments were mentioned. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Church offered “green” garments?

By the magic of Internet forums, these two scenes meshed together and the Green Garment Campaign was born.
According to the April General Conference, there are 14.1 million members of the Church worldwide. I’ve heard activity levels to be about 15%, or 2.1 million. If you say half are temple endowed, leaving out children, youth, and people who haven’t been to the temple, you have over 1 million people who are expected to wear garments day and night for the rest of their lives. While styles and demand may change seasonly for the rest of the clothing industry, the demand for garments will probably be steady for many, many years. Where are those fabrics coming from? Petroleum, like many synthetics? Heavily treated cotton fields?

The actions involved in the Green Garment Campaign are simple: Write an email to Distribution Services,feedback@store.lds.org, asking for new fabrics: organic, post-consumer, sustainable, fairtrade, or all if you like!

In my dream world, this would lead to big things: These emails and letters will create a demand. In response, more fabric options are offered. They might be a little more expensive at first, like the carinessa fabric is currently, but as demand grows and as the rest of the world also starts asking for sustainable fabrics, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool farms will grow, eventually driving the cost down. I would love to see the day that all cotton is organic and all products are fair trade. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if members of the Church were part of the driving force in that effort?

If you’d like to spread the word, join the Facebook group  and invite your friends. The event is through May 1 because that is Mormon May Day, but if you don’t have time until next week or month to write an email, then write it then!

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5 responses to “Green Garment Campaign

  1. TopHat May 2, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I just wanted to say that I extended the GGC event on Facebook until next Sunday, May 8, if anyone wants to join the cause and share it with their friends!

  2. xJane May 2, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I don’t know what the religious demands are of creating a garment, but there are plenty of places to purchase either sustainably-created or used clothing. My understanding of the LDS mentality is that self-sufficiency plays a big role—can one make ones own garments?

    There used to be a really great blog called Wardrobe Refashion which chronicled people’s attempts to take the 6- or 12-month oath to not purchase any new clothes. There are some great ideas for turning thrift-store and own-closet finds into completely new items.

    I also think it’s a great way to celebrate Spring! Good luck to you!

  3. BHodges May 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for spearheading this, I sent an email too.

  4. TopHat May 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    xJane- Back in the day, meaning early 20th century, I know that there were approved patters from which you could sew your own garments, but the recent editions of the Church Handbook have stated that this is not allowed and you may only use the ones the Church makes. It’s sad, really. I’d love to be able to buy fabric or re-purpose thrift store fabric and clothes for garments.

  5. Corktree May 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I just love this idea. I hope something changes as a result.

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