Things to Consider as You Do Your Holiday Gift Shopping
The following excerpt is from Rebecca Burgess’ new book Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy (Chelsea Green Publishing, November 2019) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.
The simple answer to this question is: a lot. On average, over 80 percent of the cotton grown in the United States annually is genetically modified to withstand the use of a range of herbicides and pesticides, and less than 1 percent is certified organic. And while two-thirds of Americans support GMO labeling for their food, few understand the role GMOs play in their clothing. In fact, we have yet to broach any large-scale public discussion of how GMO agriculture as a whole is impacting the health and diversity of our landscapes, rural economies, and personal health. Due to the omission of these larger conversations we’ve largely left the genetic engineering of fibers out of the land-use ethics debate altogether, and as a result there is little to no transparency offered on garment hangtags enabling us to determine if our clothing is genetically modified or not. Unless we are searching out and purchasing Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified garments. As a result of the large gap between our knowledge of how clothing is made and where the ingredients are sourced from, when we make decisions as a consumer on what to buy, we are largely making them blindly.Read more