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Banana Republic's New "Green" Shirts Are 95% Not-So-Much

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Kicking off Monday with a little fashion news, we received a tip that Banana Republic has a new line of “eco-friendly” clothing that’s taking baby steps towards really being green.

Take for instance their new tank tops labeled as “an eco-friendly staple this season“. They are made from 87% cotton, 8% spandex, and 5% organic cotton. A source has revealed to us that these shirts “come in plastic bags that most of the stores just throw away because they can’t recycle.” Are we seeing here a classic case of greenwashing?

I guess it really depends on how you view their efforts. On one hand, BR is incorporating sustainable materials such as organic cotton, soy silk and bamboo that previously were not purchased for any percentage of their clothing empire. On the other, labeling something ‘eco-friendly’, even though 95% of it is not, seems a bit of a reach. Alessandra Brunialti, Banana Republic’s vice president of design for women, had this to say via The LA Times,

“A year ago, when we started this, we were trying to be super pure about it — have everything be completely organic,” she said. “And it was all becoming too much to do at once. Then our mantra became ‘One step at a time.'”

The lesson here is do your homework. If you really want to shop green, make sure you take a look at the labels so that what you’re buying actually makes sense for the planet. Something with 5% organics that comes wrapped in plastic might not make the cut.

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