Fashion has nothing to do with nature in a very elementary way. Indeed, the sheer existence of fashion as the main method of aesthetic self-design lets the imagination of an unconditional natural beauty and grace collapse. In terms of design principles, production and the fashionable everyday practices of consumers, fashion is exactly the other side of nature. However, the dichotomy between fashion and nature or naturalness is even more extreme when one thinks of current mass consumption with its fast-moving production, a large number of annual collections per year, and the rapid imitation of designer fashion. Inevitably, this is also linked to the extremely poor production conditions, which are mostly carried out on the backs of female workers in Asia. Huge amounts of toxic chemicals not only end up in clothing, but also devastate entire regions, poison rivers and ultimately kill people.
That these processes have nothing to do with nature in a very concrete and material way becomes clear at the latest with the destruction of its resources. Although a product made of natural fibers may appear to be more environmentally friendly at first glance, even so, little remains of nature if it has been produced in this way. In fact, it is no longer sufficient to rely on nature by consuming clothing made of natural fibers; instead, it is necessary to consider the entire textile chain. From the raw material, the growing area, the method of cultivation, the production process and the production conditions to transport routes, service life, cleaning requirements and disposal. The use of organic cotton, which comes from controlled organic cultivation, as a replacement for cotton, which in conventional cultivation uses enormous amounts of pesticides and consumes considerable amounts of water, appears to be the next logical step on the way to a sustainable fashion. Fibers such as hemp or linen, for example, also offer a good alternative.
Clothing made of linen not only cools considerably better on hot summer days, but also scores points for its aesthetics and, of course, the sustainability aspect. Linen is obtained from the stems of the flax plant – hence the name “linum” from the Latin for “flax” – and requires much less water than cotton in production. Moreover, linen is very practical to handle because it is particularly tough and tear-resistant, has a low dead weight and, above all, remains breathable because its volume does not expand. However, there is one disadvantage: the thin nature of the fiber results in the material creasing slightly. But that’s not tragic either, so a creased look appears much more likeable and casual at the same time, especially if you don’t want to meticulously reach for the iron every time. Personally, I love linen dresses in earth tones, so every summer they can be combined in many different ways and above all you can be dressed stylishly without much effort. I can’t deny that linen in earth shades of earth automatically suggests more closeness to nature. It is definitely an environmentally friendly textile.
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