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HEy i was wondering if someone could explain the difference between organic and regular cotton tees when it comes to the feel and comfort fit of the shirts...also shrinkage..thanks a lot...
They are basically exactly the same. Both just cotton.

The way the cotton is produced (organically...without pesticides) is the big difference with the organic ones.
 

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to break bamboo down into an extruded paste is not a green process and heavy on water use too! bamboo is a man made fiber not a spun natural fiber like cotton, hemp, flax, silk or animal hair. that said i like bamboo t-shirts, they feel great! we hold our cotton farmers to such high standards it's not fair to just blindly accept bamboo without first putting its industry under the same microscope. i've been to a cotton gin, i've been to a textile plant, i wonder has anyone been to a bamboo extrusion plant? are they willing to show the process off to the eco concerned public. my hunch is no way as it might be a little embarrassing. maybe someone will chime in with a defense of the process. just stirring the pot stan
 

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First of all, the main benefit to bamboo being used for textiles is at the cultivation level. There are so many benefits to growing bamboo as opposed to cotton that it is an absolute no-brainer. Also, with regards to global warming, lets not forget that bamboo is a huge carbon sink and takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere about 4 times faster than hardwood or conifer forests.

Secondly, "chemical nightmare"? Come on, give me a break. No one goes in to see a bamboo extrusion plant because it is a patented and highly sought after process. The 2 or 3 plants in China supplying all of the bamboo fiber right now are Oekotex100 certified to produce a chemical free end product and SA8000 certified for responsible practices. The main dangerous chemical is caustic soda (or sodium hydroxide) which I certainly wouldn't want to drink but is also the main ingredient in 99% of soaps made. Interestingly, caustic soda is also widely used as a washing agent for organic cotton and passes international organic standards. I wonder if they use it in a closed loop like the bamboo textile industry is reputed to?

The point is, there is no such thing as perfection in the new GREEN marketplace. Everyone should organically grow their own cotton, hemp or bamboo and then beat it with rocks to make fiber which is then hand woven and made into tough (but fashionable) jumpsuits. The various ECO-fibers available out there such as hemp, soy, bamboo, tencel, etc are ALL better choices than regular cotton. I believe that most are even better than organic cotton but to put them into some kind of GREEN hierarchy just makes it easier for people to marginalize the benefits of choosing them.
 

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Well said treequaker!
I have been thinking this same thing with all the bamboo bashing I've been hearing. Let's bash all eco/organic fabric if we're going to do it. I read somewhere descibing the process organic cotton goes through incl scouring of fabric w/ sodium hydroxide and then later bashing conventional for finishing with caustic soda.
Umm..... same thing.
Which everyone is claiming to be the chemical nightmare of bamboo.
Go green?
Go naked.
 

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Hi, I saw someone else posted about the Nueva Vida co-op in Nicaragua. Their shirts are excellent quality, a good fit (though not super fitted like AA) and your money is supporting a group of women who were displaced by Hurricane Mitch. Through the financial help of an American group, the women, many of whom were experienced sewers from a Dickies factory, built their own factory, own their own equipment, and manage themselves. What a wonderful alternative to the pervasive sweatshops in that area. Most smaller scale customers who hear about this co-op are happy to pay the extra $3-4 per shirt to know they're directly improving the lives of others.

The two U.S. distributors that I know of are the PCUSA and North Country Fair Trade.

Peace. . .
 
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