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Sustainably sources work clothes

 
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Does anyone have a recommendation for good workpants and, ultimately, general work clothes. I'm looking for long-wearing, tough, comfortable, sustainably sourced and made clothes that I can safely compost when I haven't been able to patch it up any more! I've searched but the one element that rarely gets discussed for sustainably made clothes is wear - they all seem to aim for the fashion sales. And while I'm not averse to being a fashionable farmer, my main goal is to not be a nude farmer.
 
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I would check the assortment of online military shops where you can find used T-shirts, shirts, backpacks, bags, shoes and trousers. Its materials are great and very tough. My boyfriend recommends them.
 
master gardener
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The compost ability issue is a problem.  I run with the more serious sales at the Duluth Trading Company.  By serious, I mean 60% off or better.   The pants I buy  normally are listed with 1 to 3 percent non cotton material.
 
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Roland Maurice wrote:Does anyone have a recommendation for good workpants and, ultimately, general work clothes. I'm looking for long-wearing, tough, comfortable, sustainably sourced and made clothes that I can safely compost when I haven't been able to patch it up any more! I've searched but the one element that rarely gets discussed for sustainably made clothes is wear - they all seem to aim for the fashion sales. And while I'm not averse to being a fashionable farmer, my main goal is to not be a nude farmer.



This has long been a dilemma for many of us that want organic, sustainable, ethically sourced clothing and what little is out there, doesn’t tend to be tough. Some companies are getting better about it, Patagonia, Colombia, etc. there is also the dilemma of cotton vs performance and durability and that is really hard to get without polyester and nylon and other plastic/synthetics. Outdoor enthusiasts swear by the saying, cotton kills, because cotton isn’t a very good outdoor fabric. Native Americans got by with leather, which isn’t an ideal solution for most of us. So... What’s a fashionista to do? LOL!

It’s situations like these when I am reminded of an old common sense saying/prayer often referred to as the serenity prayer. (I’m a devout atheist, but I have 2 ministers and a priest in my family, and I grew up shackled to religion, so I know far more than most about it). Anyway, it goes,  “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (So... Not everything about religion is bad... LOL!)... Anyway... This clothing dilemma is one of those things where this common sense saying can apply (unless this is a passion for you, and in that case, Rock on Brother!!!)...

I still keep my eye out for sustainable organic clothing, but I don’t let it get in the way of the other things in life. I try to buy used clothing and “reuse” rather than buy new. And I try to make up for it in other ways. I could spend $130.00 plus tax and shipping on something like this...

https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-iron-forge-hemp-canvas-bib-overalls-regular/55050.html?dwvar_55050_color=COI&cgid=mens-pants-jeans-workwear

Those are made from help, organic cotton and 27% recycled polyester... So they are better than most, but still far from good and cannot be composted... Instead, I can buy several pairs of used overalls from a charitable thrift store, patch the holes, wear them into the ground, and dispose of them responsibly when they go beyond repair. If I can’t find used, then I go for what I can get and try to make the best vote I can with my dollars.

I know that’s not the solution you or I want, but I haven’t found a better solution yet. I hope that in the future, someone figures out how to make good clothing out of Nettle and Flax fibers (hollow fibers and they are the original performance fabrics that were common in the past but not in the present). If I come across a company selling a better option, I will gladly reward them with my money (even if they are expensive), that kind of effort should be rewarded and encouraged. I just hope they have big and tall sizes that fit me because I am tall and wear 3xl.

So if anyone else comes across anyone selling good sustainable durable clothing, please post it. Eventually, someone will come along and I will throw my support their way, it’s just a matter of when.

Good Luck!
 
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Thrift Stores? Clothes may not have been sustainably made but that impact has already been done. They may not be compostable and you will have to send them to landfill but they were headed there anyways.  Plus you normally support a good cause by shopping there and you save money.
 
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I second Duluth Trading, when they are on sale.  The Fire hose pants are extremely sturdy. Their fire hose shorts are comparable to some of the Patagonia or Royal Robbins I have tried.
 
Paul Eusey
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I strongly advise against Deluth... I just went and checked them out and was horrified. They are all treated with a water/stain repellent. That means they are saturated in PFCs/PFAS/PFOA forever chemicals... Um... No... I’d rather be naked.

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/02/ski-clothing-waterproof-pfoa-pfcs-perfluourochemicals-health-risks/

 
Paul Eusey
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This is something to consider for those who may casually dismiss the forever chemicals plaguing us (many of which can be in our clothing as stain guards and water repellents).


This is a recent little a article by Erin Brockovich.


https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

Now that is just a light overview/PR piece, but it is plenty as a starting point for real research. I’ve done a lot of research on these chemicals, and the entire chemical class needs to be banned (and some countries already have and the USA may be about to do the same). But until we all do, what you don’t know can and will hurt you. Please be careful. I would like the folks that might read this to be around (and healthy) in the future.


Good Luck!
 
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