Local store brings eco-friendly clothing to Humboldt County

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ARCATA- “When you grow conventional cotton, non-organic cotton, it takes half a pound of pesticides to make one t-shirt,” said Kevin Johnson, co-owner of Solutions in Arcata.

That’s one t-shirt too many according to Johnson. His store Solutions opened in 1990 and since that time has been one of the only all eco-friendly retail stores in Humboldt County. Solutions is leading the charge to change the way we produce our clothing.

“It starts with how it's grown,” Johnson said. “So, generally grown organically which is a more sustainable practice, it nourishes the soil, the harvesting of it is a lot more benign then something that is sprayed with chemicals and toxic cancer causing pesticides and herbicides.”

Non-organically grown cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops in the world… using 16 percent of the world’s pesticides while cultivated on only 2.5 percent of the earth’s land.

Growing cotton organically means not using pesticides or other chemicals in production and keeping those materials separate during manufacturing.

“I’d say the nice thing about organic cotton clothing or any organic clothing really is the peace of mind that you get when you're wearing it,” said Gabriel Richards, an organic consumer and sales representative at Solutions. “It definitely feels great to wear, but in the sense that, it's just a lot softer and it feels great on your skin.”

But if you can’t splurge on a brand new wardrobe, that’s okay. Being eco-conscious is the first step in an eco-friendly lifestyle.

“The more you wear them and the more you support organic industry, the likelier it will be to succeed, just because without support, the industries will never progress,” Richards said. “So just, even if it's just a little thing, you can always support something.”