Eco-Friendly Fabric and Decorating Options

You don't have to sacrifice your personal decorating taste to be green. Here's what to look for, how to find it, and why you can keep your promise to the earth while dressing your home fabulously.
Organic Cotton

Why It's Green

organic cotton textiles

Organic cotton costs more than conventional cotton, but it's better for the environment and farm workers, as it is grown without the use of most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetic engineering.

How to Find It

Organic cotton is used to make sheets, towels, shower curtains, throw pillows, table linens, pillowcases, duvet covers, crib/baby linens, mattress pads, and bath mats.

What to Look For

Cotton fiber can be USDA certified organic, but processing the fiber into a textile is not covered. Select organic cotton products that have been dyed with "low-impact fiber reactive dyes" and finished without formaldehyde. Product labels should mention voluntary third-party standards or certifications such as Eko (certified by Skal), Oeko-Tex, or the Global Organic Textile Standards. These are meant to ensure that production and/or processing is eco-friendly.

Also, find textiles that can be machine washed so you can avoid dry-cleaning chemicals. If an item is a blend, check whether it's blended with another sustainable fiber like hemp or linen, rather than conventional cotton or a synthetic fiber.

Continued on page 2:  Bamboo