American Apparel is one of the latest garment manufacturers to extend its sustainable practices by joining forces with the Cleaner Cotton Campaign with the purchase of 30,000 pounds of Cleaner Cotton (also known as B.A.S.I.C. cotton).
The Cleaner Cotton Campaign, led by The Sustainable Cotton Project, was created to offer farmers profitable strategies for reducing chemical use in cotton cultivation.
By reducing chemical use on farms, Cleaner Cotton helps keep toxins out of the soil, air and water. The program also avoids the use of genetically modified seeds.
Last year there were 2,000 acres of Cleaner Cotton grown, which prevented 7,000 pounds of chemicals from entering the environment, according to the California EPA.
As consumers become more educated about the complexities of the garment business, eventually they will begin to demand the same level of transparency from clothing companies that they now expect from food companies, said Barbie Casasus, senior director and consumer strategist at Minneapolis-based Iconoculture.
Twenty-somethings represent about $520 billion in buying power and say they are willing to pay more for organic and fair-trade products, according to Casasus.