If you'd like to learn more about alternative materials used in sustainable fashion, read this article by Stephanie Evans: http://greenlivingideas.com/2008/09/07/sustainable-fashions-many-alternative-materials .
Evans explains different options that range from kenaf to material made from recycled plastic. Did you know that it's possible to create textiles from beets? Whether you are a designer or shopper, this is a valuable resource and an interesting read.
The article also mentions working conditions in other countries and the global market.
Don't have the money to spend on new clothes right now? That's okay. The article gives tips on improving what you already own.