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  1. #1
    The Idler Domromer's Avatar
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    Oil free clothing?

    So I ride my bike and have a garden, I have a flock of chickens and don't shop at the megamarts. I feel like I am doing a lot to help or at least not harm the environment. Then I look in my closet and just about every garment I own is made of oil. I'm a big REI shopper and just about everything they make is made of oil and put together in Asian countries. So now I'm thinking I should start trying to get clothing that is not made of oil. Maybe organic cotton and wool, problem is that REI's selection of this type of clothing is slim at best. Do you guys have any ideas where you can get comfortable clothing that is wool, or organic cotton? I do a lot of outdoor stuff so I tend to like that type of clothing.

  2. #2
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    I'm going with not harm as much as others do for $400 Alex. Whattya got against oil anyway wise guy?

  3. #3
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Honestly, I love synthetic clothing for some purposes.

    Most of my clothing is second-hand cotton stuff from the thrift store though. Thrift stores are a great source of cotton clothing, although if you go where most people in your community go for new clothes, you're likely to find a place with tons of cotton clothing.

    Most of the winter coats I have had are made of plastic of one kind or another. They don't really seem to wear out (and while the oil is contained in my coat it is not emitting carbon dioxide). When the price of oil goes high enough more of these sorts of plastic clothes will be made from plant oil instead of mineral oil.

    I ride my bike around on roads made of some really nasty petroleum stuff.
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  4. #4
    The Idler Domromer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye View Post
    I'm going with not harm as much as others do for $400 Alex. Whattya got against oil anyway wise guy?
    Thats what I meant. I didn't want to make it sound like due to my lifestyle I exert no pressure on the environment.

    Whats the 400$ alex thing mean?

  5. #5
    The Idler Domromer's Avatar
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    I guess I wish it was easier to get good wool clothing, supporting an industry that can be based here in the U.S., supporting a farmer not an oil regime. I know what my shirt is made of won't make a big deal, it was just sort of shocking when I looked in my closet and realized 90% of it wouldn't exist without chemistry.

  6. #6
    Dare to be weird!
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    I'd imagine there are a lot of embedded petroleum inputs into natural fibers too, in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and animal feed.

    Light cotton fabric with an open weave can be comfortable in hot weather. For example a madras summer shirt. For cooler weather I like Smartwool too.

  7. #7
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
    Thats what I meant. I didn't want to make it sound like due to my lifestyle I exert no pressure on the environment.

    Whats the 400$ alex thing mean?
    I'm just joshin' around. Um, ya may want to research/consider the impact of everything you use as opposed to try and shut out one particular resource.

  8. #8
    The Idler Domromer's Avatar
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    Oh yeah jeproady. I don't really want to shut out one resource I just think having an alternative to poly products would be nice. What happens to All the wool from AS and NZ? It's not being sold in outdoor stores thats for sure.

  9. #9
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I'm just joshin' around. Um, ya may want to research/consider the impact of everything you use as opposed to try and shut out one particular resource.
    Very true. Local food, organic food, vegetarian food, unprocessed food, bicycles, recycling, reducing home heating/cooling, insulating better, etc. there's a lot you can do without worrying about oil in your clothes.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I actually prefer the natural fibers to the "chemical" ones. One of my job sites requires cotton undergarments and wool outer garments (fire resistant in a hot metal environment) I have a couple of the wicking t shirts and find them very uncomfortable. I do wear silk long johns in the cooler weather, if it gets cold I break out the smart wools. I buy my stuff where I can find it, thrift shops being high on the list for wool slacks and cotton dress shirts. The rest I buy where and when I can find it. I primarily wear Carhart work pants and they are cotton.

    I also agree with Platy in that quite a bit of oil is used in the production, manufacture and distribution of most natural fiber clothes.

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  11. #11
    Selfish bitter clinger.
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    oil comes from mother earth.
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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    There are companies like Patagonia that make their synthetic clothing from recycled petroleum products. Particularly plastic pop bottles. I would think that a benefit to humanity. (Of course, I say this because I have a soft spot for fleece.)

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    The Idler Domromer's Avatar
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    I understand that it's not a big deal but doesn't it seem strange to have no real alternative to synthetics?

  14. #14
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    I have a piece of base layer from Nau that uses corn derivative fibre, but I'm guessing growing corn also uses petroleum based fertilizers.

  15. #15
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I think purchasing as much clothing as you can secondhand can go a long way to reduce the "petroleum in your clothes".
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  16. #16
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I understand that it's not a big deal but doesn't it seem strange to have no real alternative to synthetics?
    It doesn't seem strange to me. it's not that there is no alternative to synthetics, but that there is no alternative to synthetics that does exactly the same thing. Wool products are widely available provided you are willing to pay the price. My issues with wool are that it doesn't dry out or repel water as easily as synthetics, and it irritates my skin (maybe i'm allergic, i'm not sure). If you don't need the low-price, quick-dry, water-repellent, non-chafing, easy-to-wash properties of synthetics then by all means go with wool.

    Wool and synthetics both have the advantage that, unlike cotton, they can help you stay warm when wet.
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  17. #17
    A little North of Hell
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    merino

    Quote Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
    What happens to All the wool from AS and NZ? It's not being sold in outdoor stores thats for sure.
    The fashion industry. =suits and other clothing
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  18. #18
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    I think purchasing as much clothing as you can secondhand can go a long way to reduce the "petroleum in your clothes".

    Absolutely. Not to mention that it can help people rebuild their lives if you are going to GW, SA, etc. Even Value Village donate proceeds to local charities.

    Also, at least here where I am, we have the Puyallup Spring Fair, which hosts the 'Shepherd's Extravaganza' each year. Admittedly many of the people drive to the venue, but many are also local, offering clothing of handknit wool, alpaca, and vicuna fibres.

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  19. #19
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    There are some stores in my area which sell hemp clothing. I've never tried biking in it though. I know plenty of online retailers but then you have the shipping issue.

    I don't mind purchasing new from REI as they are supposedly making an effort to ensure that their products are coming from good, safe places. Though they are at the bottom of the list after thrift store/2nd hand and locally produced.

  20. #20
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    You could buy a sewing machine and make all your own clothing.

  21. #21
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
    I just think having an alternative to poly products would be nice. What happens to All the wool from AS and NZ? It's not being sold in outdoor stores thats for sure.
    Well, there's Ibex. Most of their wool cloth comes from New Zealand. All of their clothing items are sewn in the USA. As a result, they're not cheap.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  22. #22
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    filson, ibex, smartwool, swobo, patagucci, and my favorite earth wind and rider. check them.

    i don't know what ya'll are talkin' about. wool's real easy to get. it's all i wear.
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  23. #23
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Conventionally grown cotton is made from oil and water. Too much of both.
    Al

  24. #24
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    Just make sure it's all hand made wool clothing,there's oil running the machinery that makes the cloth.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  25. #25
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
    I understand that it's not a big deal but doesn't it seem strange to have no real alternative to synthetics?
    Since when?? Wool is not synthetic and makes fine cycling wear. It was used for many years and that was before the modern ultra-fine wool fibers. Cotton makes for fine clothing for everyday wear.

    BTW, are you sure that buying wool, cotton, or some other non-synthetic clothes will require less oil per garment? I expect that it takes a fair amount of oil to grow cotton or raise sheep, let alone to supply the energy to transport, and manufacture the cloth and clothing. Could easily take more oil than needed for synthetic clothing.

    But for any clothing, there is surely more oil required in the manufacture and transportation than that used in the actual fabric.

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