Adding respect to the three R’s of the environment

Julio Alberto Cruz

Photo Credit/Green Works

In the last five years, the market for eco-friendly products has never been better, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy, according to Mintel International, a London-based independent award-winning research firm of world-leading market intelligence.

However, it is important to understand the meaning of  eco-friendly. Incorporating environmental sustainability into our way of life is all about respect. Respect for the environment and the people that make and craft our products.

In addition to reduce, reuse and recycle, respect is making its way through by being the fourth “R.” Respect brings awareness, strengthens our decision making and values the work of others. It isn’t only what we get from “respectable” made items, but what we give.

Possibly the most eco-friendly clothes that we can don are recycled fleece, re-purposed handbags and organic fabrics like organic cotton T-shirts and bamboo sweaters.

For example, a Fair Indigo crew neck T-shirt made with 100 percent certified organic cotton made in the U.S. outlines what “respect” is to our environment. Another example is a bracelet made in Uganda from beads that are made from recycled paper and are hand rolled individually, earning artisans Fair Trade type wages.

Fair Trade is a movement that empowers producers and consumers to achieve justice in international trade, providing social and environmental standards through practices in the use of natural resources, especially in developing countries. Not only should we be recycling, reusing and reducing but we should also respect the people that make a product and the environment.