Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Going green at Wal-mart? Organic cotton jeans for $18

I need new jeans. Many ethical shoppers are not fans of Wal-mart. The discount retail giant has been trying hard to lay to rest consumer concerns about its pay scale, its anti-union stance and its tendency to supplant local stores. But consider this: since at least 2006, Wal-mart has been using its size and influence to boost the market for organic cotton. In fact, they are probably the largest purchaser of $100 organic cotton products, which gives them considerable clout. And the result is affordable, environmentally-friendly clothing, like these organic cotton bootcut jeans for $18. Both the fabric and the jeans are imported, but in recent years Wal-mart has introduced its Ethical Standards Program "to strengthen the implementation of positive labor and environmental practices in factories". $18 for a pair of organic cotton jeans is an amazing price.

Ethical consumption is rarely a clear-cut path; it involves having good information and self-awareness. Ultimately, consumption decisions are personal: What do I value? What am I willing to sacrifice for my values? What options are completely off the table? Loomstate, Levis, and Orvis all make organic cotton jeans, as well -- for a very pretty penny, and with no more guarantee that they are ethically produced. I value sustainability and fair labor practices, but my clothes must fit my person as well as my pocketbook. It would appear that an exploratory trip to Wal-Mart is in my future.

4 comments:

decoration candles said...

I have this one pair of organic jeans. I totally love it! It's comfortable and I know that it's clean. :)

Jo said...

Do you remember where you got them? I am so glad that it is getting easier to find organic clothing at a reasonable price.

Amani said...

Walmart is really a best place for organic cotton products.

Jo said...

They also have tremendous buying power and influence, and can help raising awareness about organic products and green living.