I’ve wanted to print the PLANT WEEDS: THE “S” MAKES IT LEGAL design on hemp from the beginning, so I’m psyched that I now have hemp shirts over at the shop. Hemp is pretty amazing: It breathes well, is antimicrobial, and is more durable than cotton. It also grows like a weed, so doesn’t need all the babysitting (e.g. herbicides or pesticides used by conventional growers) that cotton needs. It’s a pretty awesome textile, plus these shirts are soft and cozy. I love that ONNO, the Colorado-based company that makes these, only sells shirts made from sustainable materials (hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton). That shows a level of commitment to sustainability that most mainstream/designer brands don’t demonstrate. ONNO has also taken important steps to ensure that the production of these shirts is fair and humane.
You’ll find charcoal and ice blue in the unisex cut and earth green and dusty purple in the women’s cut. The women’s cut, by the way, is a really nice one: the sleeve shape and tailoring is flattering, but rather than being skin-tight, the t-shirt shows off the fabric’s beautiful drape. That gorgeous drape also makes the unisex shirts flattering on all sorts of shapes: They don’t, for example, look boxy in the shoulders on me the way most unisex shirts do. Click here for hemp t-shirts.
After multiple, enthusiastic requests for youth PLANT WEEDS t-shirts, I’ve had some printed up on USA-grown and made organic cotton shirts. These have a satisfying, comfy feel that will get softer with wear and washing, just like your favorite pair of jeans. Plus, the garment-dyed colors are gorgeous. Click here for youth shirts.
I recently came across this info, in Pietra Rivoli’s The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy:
There are a handful of creative and contrary farmers growing organic cotton in west Texas, but they account for less than 1/3 of 1 percent of the cotton produced. (“It rounds up to zero,” one conventional grower sniffed.)
While I’m not sure where the boundaries of west Texas are, I’m pleased to be sourcing from some of those “creative and contrary” farmers, SOS from Texas. Here’s to using our buying power to create demand for organic practices and nudge that percentage higher. Here’s a video by SOS, showing the journey a t-shirt takes from their farms onward. I was interested to see that – unlike conventional cotton growers, who spray defoliants before harvesting – SOS waits for a frost, which, of course, defoliates naturally.
Last but not least, I’ve also started using EcoEnclose’s 100% recycled mailers, which are recyclable and even reusable, thanks to a nifty second sticky strip. Lightweight and durable, and made in the USA, this is an awesome mailer. Full disclosure: Depending on the size of your order, it may be shipped in a reused box of good quality, a Priority Mail flat rate container (also recycled and recyclable), or a smaller, 88% recycled poly mailer (because I goofed and ordered one package that was 88% instead of 100%). The customer service at this Colorado-based company has been great, and there was even a note with a little drawing of a plant on the packing list. Ordering packing supplies might not sound exciting, but it kind of is when it’s obvious that you’re dealing with real, live people that care about the environment.