Cotton(Organic)The overuse of “organic” is leaving a skeptical aftertaste in the minds of consumers of clothing just as much as it is food, according to Frank Anguili, the founder of Natural High Lifestyle. Knowledgeable about the types of sustainable clothing materials (i.e., hemp, cotton, bamboo), and the core differences between organic and commercial cotton (chemical treatments), I knew that I found someone who I could ask nearly anything about the subject. Most of Frank’s terminology was easy to grasp, but a few acronyms here and there had me scratching my head. I then wondered if the same thing happened to consumers of organic products. If, as a writer, I am supposed to comprehend and report on what I hear, how can someone who is looking to pay based on what they are told make a wise decision if they don’t know what they are buying? Perhaps “organic” is overused, I thought to myself, but had no real chance of keeping it to myself; I had a question for Frank. Standing at his a racks of clothes, organizing a couple of shirts, I decided to hit him spot on with a spur-of-the-moment, organic question that I was a bit afraid to ask. “What is it about the environmentally conscious and green push that has left us blushing red if we don’t know what everything means?” “It’s become a buzzword,” Frank said. His answer was short. And simple. And brilliant. We talked for a bit longer about the importance of awareness of actual rules and regulations. Knowledge is power. Here are two different organic certification information links. The first is for food, put out by the United States Department of Agriculture. The National Organic Program outlines what classifies agricultural practices or products as organic. For clothing, the Organic Consumers Association lists qualifying companies by state. So, when all research is said and done, what’s the truth behind the organic buzz? Be sure to do your homework before you buy and you’ll know what you’re actually getting! Now that is conscious consumerism.