Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Unorganically yours

I spent some time on New Year's Day looking at websites that sell organic fabric--cotton, wool, hemp, even bamboo--and reading stuff written by people who prefer it, whether for environmental or health-related reasons. I had conflicted responses to what I saw. First, a lot of these textiles are beautiful; I can see myself having a happy time sewing and wearing these materials. Many of them are not as expensive as I'd imagined they'd be (with the exception of the printed cottons--eeek! they cost a bundle). And then, of course, I was troubled by what I saw as the fanaticism of some of the people writing about organics--some of them have an obsession with purity that seems to block out any recognition of how impossible it is to avoid "contamination" with the world we find ourselves living in. Some, I suspect, actually spend so much of their time and resources trying to leave the smallest environmental footprint that they miss all kinds of opportunities for involvement and action with people who can't afford to be organic fundamentalists.

(OK, end of rant. I have to remind myself that I, too, have my fundamentalist tendencies. The sight of women bottle-feeding their babies, for instance, turns me into a Talibanish dervish. "Breast milk or nothing," my attitude says. "Burn down the formula factories!" I cry, to the obvious concern of parents with all kinds of good reasons to bottle-feed.)

Anyway, looking at the organic textiles made me do a double-take on a dress I just finished for Astrid. This cotton knit, which I got on sale at Sewbaby.com, could not be less organic, I fear. But I love the print! So many colors! What girl wouldn't like to wear a whole tropical jungle? If I went organic, Astrid wouldn't get to twirl in a dress like this.

Excuses, excuses.

No comments: