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Dress healthy
The new forward-looking organic product? Clothing.
BY NAZ SIOSHANSI

AmONG all our New Yearís resolutions to eat more healthily, exercise more frequently, and drink less often, some people are adding the decision to dress healthier in 2005. Organic food is, dare we say, passé. Itís no longer a cutting-edge subject, having become an accepted phenomenon in present-day culture. The new forward-thinking and chic organic product is clothing, as evidenced by the growing number of organic-clothing stores in the area. This apparel isnít the muddied off-white T-shirt you might associate with unbleached cloth. Todayís organic garments come in a wide array of colors, cuts, and sizes ó making healthy dressing one of the easiest resolutions to maintain this year.

Patagonia and Nike were among the first large clothing retailers to bring ecological-clothing enlightenment to the fashion-concerned masses, by providing functional and fashionable organic-clothing lines. In their stores, there are displays depicting the evils of mass-produced cotton and its effects on farmers, soil, and water. Did you know that cotton is the most chemically dependent crop in the world, accounting for 25 percent of worldwide insecticide use? Placed beside these bulletins is Patagoniaís mystic-blue organic-cotton Henley ($40), which allows you to be stylish and comfortable while decrying the evils of non-organic cotton. Or perhaps youíd be happier quietly protesting in the storeís sultan-red organic-wool poncho ($180).

Smaller retailers have also joined the organic riots, selling womenís, menís, childrenís, and home lines. Cottonfield sells a black French-terry swing jacket ($72), which can be paired with a matching black French-terry slim skirt ($48) for a casual business meeting or Sunday brunch.

Or perhaps hemp is your organic fabric of choice. After all, itís not only eco-friendly but patriotic, too: the first American flag was made of hemp, and two Founding Fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew the crop. But while hemp may be categorized as a patriotic, organic fabric, the Hempest embraces present-day globalization doctrines. Here, the environmentally savvy shopper can purchase a red Mandarin jacket with toggle buttons ($218), a black, purple-lined taiga poncho ($148), or a light-jade Toulouse coat ($259).

The by-product of dressing healthier in 2005 is that you can sleep a little easier, knowing that youíve played a part in reducing water and soil contamination. And you donít have to lose your sense of style to do it.

Where to find it:

ē Cottonfield, 119 Braintree Street, Suite 312, Boston, (617) 787-8112; www.cottonfieldusa.com

ē The Hempest, 207 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 421-9944; www.hempest.com

ē Patagonia, 346 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 424-1776; www.patagonia.com


Issue Date: January 21 - 27, 2005
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