Myth: My jeans are made of organic cotton so it's okay to buy as many pairs as I want.
Reality: When it comes to wasting water, organic jeans are as bad as regular ones.
Estimates vary, but it takes as much as 2,100 gallons of water to grow enough cotton -- organic or otherwise -- to produce just one pair of jeans, not including the water used to dye and finish the fabric.
Says textile expert Gail Baugh of San Francisco State: "In places where water is a real issue, you have to ask if growing cotton is the best use of resources."
Recycled polyester may be a better bet in terms of preserving resources. Patagonia, for example, sells an R2 jacket, 40% of which is made with polyester of the hand-me-down variety. -- E.F.
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