You may not give all that much thought to organic clothing. Certainly, your average person cares much more about organic products that go inside your body, rather than just on it. And it’s definitely important that you’re keeping your foods and supplements chemical- and additive-free, but there is much to consider when you’re purchasing any product: how production affects the environment, quality, and is it good (or bad) for your own health.

When you purchase an organic product, be it clothing, food, or anything else, you know that the producer has taken the time, effort, and extra steps to make something that is good. As a general rule, if you’re buying something organic, you’re buying a high-quality product from a company that cares about what they do, beyond just making a profit. And the results of this level of care are apparent in how they affect you and the world:

  1. Health: You might be surprised to learn that there are an abundance of chemicals used in clothing production. These chemicals include everything from chlorinated phenols like PCP and TriCP (who knows what those are?) to formaldehyde. Not only do you want to avoid direct contact with these on your skin, they’re also bad for the environment and for the people working in factories, dealing with these every day. As conscientious, informed consumers, we have a responsibility to purchase and create a demand in the market for products that are sustainable, good for the environment, and ethically crafted.
  2. Environment: The production of synthetic clothing releases terrible greenhouse gasses and creates non-biodegradable products. When you think about the amount of clothing produced to accommodate the 7-billion or so people on this planet, it’s obvious that, little by little, we’re destroying the planet with our poor clothing production methods. And yet organic clothing is produced from all-natural cloths, linens, fibers, and fabrics. Many of these organic options are wholly sustainable and even have added benefits like hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties.
  3. Durability and quality: Are you guaranteed longer lasting clothing by buying organic? Not necessarily. However, consider that the companies who put in the effort to create an overall better product will in turn be creating a longer-lasting product as they use higher quality production means. Natural fibers such as wool, hemp, and bamboo are notoriously durable — much more so than cheaply produced synthetics.

While the upfront cost for organically produced clothing might be a little higher, you will likely save money in the long run thanks to the higher-quality production. More importantly, you can feel good about the fact that you are making a good decision, being a part of the movement to make the world a better, safer, healthier place by reducing the use of toxic and environmentally harmful chemicals.