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Hard Facts About a Woolly Industry - PETA.org.uk (press release) (blog)

Hard Facts About a Woolly Industry - PETA.org.uk (press release) (blog) | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
PETA.org.uk (press release) (blog) Hard Facts About a Woolly Industry PETA.org.uk (press release) (blog) This may not sound out of the ordinary until you learn that a third of this wool is labelled as “skin wool”, a grim name for wool which is torn...
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11 Eco-Friendly Supermodels Who Are Changing the World | Ecouterre

11 Eco-Friendly Supermodels Who Are Changing the World | Ecouterre | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Beauty, brains, and heart. Here are 11 eco-friendly supermodels who look good while doing good.
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World Innovation Forum Showcases Sugarcane Fabric, Durian Opener - Bernama

World Innovation Forum Showcases Sugarcane Fabric, Durian Opener Bernama According to Bamboo Malaysia Sdn Bhd design and production manager, Shahiza Ghazi, the company started experimenting with sugarcane as a source of fabric in 2009 and found it...
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You never know what might make good fabrics!

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Can Fashion Change The World?

Can Fashion Change The World? | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Katharine Hamnett paid tribute to the garment workers who lost their lives, following the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory on Wednesday.

Via CK Love
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Protecting Our Planet and Protecting Ourselves - Organic ...

Protecting Our Planet and Protecting Ourselves: The Importance of Organic Cotton For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Clothes For a Change Campaign page.
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Eco fashion dictionary updated & with brand new search technology ...

Eco fashion dictionary updated & with brand new search technology ... | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
The brand-new Eco fashion dictionary with search engine and related with is online with more than 200 terminologies within sustainable designs.
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Prince William and Kate to dress royal child in Melbourne-made ...

Prince William and Kate to dress royal child in Melbourne-made ... | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Sapling, a small babywear business comprising of school teacher Peta Stinson and her husband, got an online order from Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge for 100 per cent organic clothes. "It was a big order, ...
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Taking Care Of Bamboo Clothing

Taking Care Of Bamboo Clothing | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Bamboo clothing is amazingly soft and luxurious and needs proper care to maintain those wondrous qualities. All fabrics react different to laundry detergents and stain removal products, so make sure to follow these cleaning ...
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16 Eco Criteria to Define Sustainable Apparel / Ethical Fashion | Eco ...

16 Eco Criteria to Define Sustainable Apparel / Ethical Fashion | Eco ... | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
What makes a garment eco-fashion? What does sustainable apparel means? How to define ethical fashion? It didn't seen have any professional standard in fashion industry to define eco-friendly clothing.
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How to Buy Organic Clothing |Insego

How to Buy Organic Clothing |Insego | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Gоing green with clothing mау bе harder fоr ѕоmе thаn fоr оthеrѕ bесаuѕе it gеtѕ dоwn tо buying fewer but bеttеr quality clothes, wearing thеm longer, аnd repairing, repurposing, аnd recycling them. Thаt means buying ...
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Organic Baby Clothing Is Formaldehyde Free | Organic Baby Blog ...

Organic Baby Clothing Is Formaldehyde Free | Organic Baby Blog ... | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Organic Baby Clothing Is Formaldehyde Free. July 16th, 2013 by. formaldehyde Have you ever wondered about the content of the fabric you put on your baby's body? Organic baby clothing has been gaining popularity in ...
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click for bamboo socks

click for bamboo socks | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
For the best Bamboo socks in Australia it has to be Bamboo work socks! Applying real bamboo fibre content our Bamboo socks Australia wide are better than most.

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parkerelison01's curator insight, June 16, 2013 3:13 PM

Happy Toes keeps your feet comfortable with quality cotton socks and stockings. For cheap prices and 14-day money back guarantee, buy online today!

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Vivienne Westwood attempts to put the eco into fashion with a little help from ... - Daily Mail

Vivienne Westwood attempts to put the eco into fashion with a little help from ... - Daily Mail | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Daily Mail
Vivienne Westwood attempts to put the eco into fashion with a little help from ...
Daily Mail
Like fellow designer-turned-activist Katharine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood has never been afraid to reveal her political views in public.
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Toronto Fashion Week puts spotlight on industry ethics - Mississauga

Toronto Fashion Week puts spotlight on industry ethics - Mississauga | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Toronto Fashion Week puts spotlight on industry ethics Mississauga Langdon says she will lead participants in a discussion about how the West can demand and support positive change to improve conditions for the people who make the clothes the...
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Paper People Clothing: Beth: the Beauty of Organic Cotton

Paper People Clothing: Beth: the Beauty of Organic Cotton | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
In the grand scheme of sustainable fibres, organic cotton is one of our favourites. Earlier in the year we met with the folks from Canopy, a not for profit that advocates for the preservation of forests worldwide.
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Bamboo Clothing for Eczema « allerchic

Bamboo Clothing for Eczema « allerchic | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
We know its hard to find clothing for eczema that calms itching, is soft, comfortable & cool enough to wear in summer & tropical climates.The clothing manufacturer who conducted a survey on our site recently advised us that ...
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A Night for Green Beauty…Be There! : No More Dirty Looks

A Night for Green Beauty…Be There! : No More Dirty Looks | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
We love New York Fashion Week, but we don't love thinking about all the dirty cosmetics the models and stylists are exposed to on the job everyday. Death by hairspray? Maybe not, because green beauty is coming to ...
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“Green” Fashion… just a trend or is it sustainable? | Project Eve

“Green” Fashion… just a trend or is it sustainable? | Project Eve | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
“Eco-friendly” fashion choices mean not only reducing post-consumer refuse, but also pre-consumer waste and pollution. That is why designers and manufacturers are altering traditional design preferences to include more ...
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Finally! Fashion designer says “Buy less”

Finally! Fashion designer says “Buy less” | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
A fashion designer telling us not to invest in fashion? THAT’s pretty chic. (Finally! Fashion designer says “Buy less”: A fashion designer telling us not to invest in fashion? THAT’s...
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How Green is Bamboo Clothing? | The Chic Ecologist

How Green is Bamboo Clothing? | The Chic Ecologist | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Most bamboo clothing are sold as eco friendly and sustainable, but are they really? The toxic secret behind bamboo textiles.
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Why bamboo socks are preferred to other socks? | Every day is a ...

Among the different varieties of socks, bamboo socks have become really popular among the people. It is because of the exceptional features that it incorporates and the benefits that you can enjoy. This is the reason that such ...
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Find Incredible Advantages of Bamboo Clothing - MB Publishing

Find Incredible Advantages of Bamboo Clothing - MB Publishing | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Environmental awareness has grown a lot over the last years and every industrial field gives its best to make eco friendly decisions when commercializing various products. Organic clothing do not only complies with this eco ...
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Is the romper suit organic? What your baby's clothes say about you ...

If it's Boden, you want to keep up with the Sloanses. And if it's a collection of royal-themed wear, you're not a royal.
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BEST THING EVER: You Can Actually Buy United Bamboo's Cat Clothes

BEST THING EVER: You Can Actually Buy United Bamboo's Cat Clothes | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
(United Bamboo) The piped blazer ($69) as worn with the shirt dress ($49)One of the most amazing (and important) things that happens at the end of every year in the New York fashion industry is that...

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A loosening of the Organic Standards: Synthetic Substances

A loosening of the Organic Standards: Synthetic Substances | Eco-fashion | Scoop.it
Part 8: Back in July 2012, the New York Times published an article entitled “Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized?

 

A loosening of the Organic Standards: Synthetic Substances

Part 8: Back in July 2012, the New York Times published an article entitled “Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized?” which joined a string of recent stories in pushing organic certification back into the media spotlight. The excitation aroused by “Oversized” stemmed from its questioning whether corporate interests are undermining organic integrity by rigging the certification standards to allow unwarranted and unwelcomed synthetic ingredients in organic processed food.

Some organic heavyweights including Michael Potter of Eden Foods were blunt in alleging such corruption and the article alarmed many consumers whose knowledge of certification draws more on faith than familiarity with federal regulations. Weren’t the organic standards originally written to prohibit certified foods from containing synthetic ingredients? And doesn’t the process for establishing and enforcing those standards deter agribusiness interference (along with government incompetence) by insuring the organic community a commanding voice in the outcome? The answer to both questions is yes and how we moved from those early intentions to the realities of today provides the next installment in our serial saga, “Organic Agriculture: Its Origins, and Evolution Over Time.”

We must travel back to the 1980s to appreciate why and how the anti-synthetic and anti-agribusiness provisions were written into the USDA organic certification standards. Private sector organic certification came into its own during that decade as more than a dozen for-profit, non-profit and state certification programs grew to commercial significance. Each of these programs maintained its own set of standards for production (fresh products) and handling (processed foods) and used a unique seal to identify items certified to those standards. Much as adolescents everywhere have difficulty explaining themselves, this multiplicity of meanings and symbols rendered organic certification quite perplexing to many potential consumers. Seeking to harmonize the meaning behind organic certification, the organic community – meaning the extended family of farmers, certifying agents, natural food merchants, environmentalists and consumers – reached general consensus that the benefits of a single standard and label under the aegis of the USDA outweighed the risks.

This history is covered in more detail in an earlier installment of this series (Genesis of the USDA’s National Organic Program) but there are two specific elements which are pertinent to our “Oversized” discussion. One, the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) – the ensuing legislation which authorized the USDA certification program – set a very high bar for allowing synthetic substances in organic production and expressly prohibited them in processed food. These strict provisions reflected the pristine orthodoxy with which the organic community embraced its mission and the relatively small-scale and simplistic production and handling systems that were operational at the time.

This was the era when cosmetically challenged organic fruits and vegetables were still salable and seven grain pancake mix constituted a certified convenience food. Whether back-to-the-landers or traditional farmers who declined to get on the chemical treadmill, the organic pioneers were all told that they wouldn’t survive without using synthetic substances and they prided themselves on proving that guidance wrong.

Additionally, the organic community recognized that partnering with USDA made them decidedly small fish in a very big pond and insisted that OFPA contain checks-and-balances provisions to guarantee that their voice be heard and respected. The most significant of these provisions was the creation of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a fifteen member body appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to include a prescribed number of farmer (4), processor (2), consumer (3), environmentalist (3), certifying agent (1), scientist (1), and retailer (1) representatives.

These categories were loosely defined in the law but the NOSB was clearly chartered as an extension of the organic community and its champion inside USDA. Remarkably, OFPA authorized the NOSB to determine which synthetic substances could be allowed in organic production and which natural but non-agricultural substances (such as salt) could be added to organic processed foods. The Secretary of Agriculture retains final authority for determining which substances are allowed in organic production and handling but may only choose from among those favorably recommended by the NOSB. Can you think of another federal regulation that affords private citizens such extraordinary regulatory influence?

There is a caveat against generals fighting the previous war over again, and it could be argued that OFPA was written to certify the previous processed food category over again. By the time the NOSB ultimately convened in 1992 and started reviewing substances, a new generation of organic processed foods was emerging that were more fabricated and shelf-stable than the granola of the early days.

Many of the synthetic substances used in the newer processed products were recognizably innocuous – ascorbic acid, for example – but others such as mono- and diglycerides used as stabilizers crossed the legal line drawn in the OFPA. Keep in mind that the OFPA restriction applied to the eventual USDA standard and while the NOSB and the USDA deliberated during the 1990s the private certification programs remained free to green light the more novel processed food formulations made with ever more syllabic, chemical-like sounding ingredients. Allowing synthetics to slip into certified processed foods, along with the emergence of ever larger and more specialized organic farms, was part and parcel of organic agriculture moving from the food cooperatives and mom and pop natural food stores of the 1970s and 80s into the Whole Foods and Walmarts of the 1990s and today.

The organic community in general and the NOSB and USDA in particular were guilty of looking the looking the other way regarding the legal prohibition of allowing synthetic substances in certified processed foods. Beginning with its first recommendations in 1992, the NOSB simply ignored the law and started forwarding favorable recommendations for such substances to the Secretary. For its part, the USDA published draft regulations in 1997 and 2000 and the final standards later in 2000 with similar disregard for OFPA’s clear-cut prohibition.

Serving as the NOP crop and livestock specialist in 2000, I vividly recall the senior USDA official responsible for implementing OFPA acknowledge the legal prohibition on synthetic substances in processed foods, but declare that the final standards would sanction their use. There were more behind-the-curtains machinations involved in finalizing the federal organic standards (described in U.S. Adopts National Organic Standards: Victory For All, but…) at the time we never thought that allowing synthetics in processed foods would be the first to come back to bite the USDA…and hard!

In an impressive re-telling of the Emperor’s New Clothes fable, a Maine farmer, organic inspector and general contrarian named Arthur Harvey called the USDA’s bluff in 2002 by suing to overturn, among other controversial provisions in the standards, the allowance for synthetic substances in organic processed foods. In January 2005 the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Harvey’s favor on the allowed synthetic provision and stayed its finding while USDA worked to un-tangle the processing standards and another overturned provision involving dairies transitioning to organic production.

However, the big players in organic processing, which by 2005 included some of the largest agribusiness interests in the country, responded quickly and succeeded in attaching an amendment (less favorably referred to as a rider) on the 2006 Agricultural Appropriations bill that amended OFPA to restore the pre-Harvey conditions. This move, which reeked of special interest influence on Capitol Hill, stunned the grassroots members of the organic community who were pleased with the Harvey decision, even if they hadn’t been earlier champions of the cause.

It’s not difficult to draw the connections between this history and the allegations of corporate malfeasance, USDA duplicity and watered-down organic standards leveled in “Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized?” In the aftermath of the Harvey case, the NOSB approved additional synthetic ingredients for use in organic processed foods, such foods grew as a profit center for processors and retailers and the connection between organic farmers and consumers grew more distant.

Does this picture start to resemble the conventional food sector that organic certification was envisioned as supplanting? By contrast, advocates of this “mainstreaming organic” model contend that every acre converted to organic production is a positive achievement and that adding a handful of innocuous synthetic ingredients (how dangerous could ascorbic acid be? People take it as a supplement!) is a small price to pay for reaching millions of eager new consumers. What is indisputable is that the synthetic substances in processed foods controversy revealed an identity crisis within the organic community that shows little prospect of healing.

In our next installment of organic history, we’ll examine how dramatic changes in certified dairy production exacerbated tensions and ultimate broke the organic community along similar fault lines.


Via Giri Kumar
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