Is organic textile a thing now?
I'm always looking out for new products and new companies doing good in the world. I recently attended a pop up event #liveorganic at Treehaus NYC focused on bring attention to organics for the home and the closet.
At the event, I had a chance to learn more about the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and meet representatives from a few companies that are GOTS certified. Let's start with what GOTS is.
GOTS is a worldwide textile processing standard that aims to define requirements to ensure the organic status of textiles from harvest to manufacturing to labelling. The goal is environmental and socially responsible textile processes. Companies must apply for certification which includes on-site inspection and many certification processes. Read more about The Standards. The logo is to the right and some highlights of the standard are below. The best thing we can be is informed consumers about what we spend our hard earned money on and how that affects the environment and the people that make them. We are all in this together!
- GOTS certified products must contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers
- Use of Viscose and Modal is restricted to 10% (25% for sportswear and socks)
- Lyocell made from certified organic or FSC sources may be used up to 30%
- GOTS certified companies must provide data on energy and water usage along with proper water waste removal and treatment
- GOTS certified companies must adhere to chemical restrictions, chemical toxicity testing requirements
- Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard packaging material, hang tags, etc. must be recycled or FSC or PEFC certified
- Must meet fabric technical parameters
- Must meet International Labor Organization standards including no forced labor, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, safe and hygienic working conditions, no child labor, set amount of working hours, living wage, no discrimination, and so much more.
- So much more...
Here are some companies that were part of the #liveorganic event. I had a chance to speak with a few company representatives and company owners about where they source their cotton and how their own company is taking steps to reduce impact when creating their textiles.
There's been a rise in organic food, but it makes sense that we also think about what we put on our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and it is covered in some sort of textile at all hours of the day. We spend 8+ hours in bed and who knows how many hours in that t-shirt that we love so much, it makes sense that we would want material that is free from harsh chemicals and made in a way that is good for the environment and the people.
The term organic can sometimes be used to hype up lots of things. I think the point of bringing organic is to shed light to the fact that for many years, we've been shielded from the way things have actually been made. In search of profit, many companies made shortcuts to increase production and get things to market faster risking our health and our environment. For me, organic is about going back to a more natural way of living. Perhaps, someday, we won't need to redefine things to be organic, it will just be the default way of making things.
Full Disclosure: No compensation was received to mention these companies. The companies on this list are also listed as the public sponsors for this event.
I've been a fan of Prana for awhile now, but have not needed to purchase new clothes and have been pretty good about loving what I currently own so I haven't bought anything from this company yet. My first month on #project333 was a success, but it's still nice to browse and learn about how clothing companies are making the effort to make clothes that last and is good for the environment. They take sustainability seriously and in speaking with the Rep at the event, they also take back clothing that may have rips or holes. They will figure out whether to mend it, recycle or upcycle it. My thing lately has been to make sure my activewear is active so I want clothing that is of high quality, sustainably made and lasts long and I think Prana is making that happen.
Coyuchi is an organic linen company. Coyuchi is probably one of the first companies I have heard of implementing a circular system around linens. They have a circular subscription program that allows you to get new organic towels, sheets and duvets at a low monthly rate. You can decide how often you get replacement linens. Once you get your new linens, you can send back the old ones to them to recycle, renew or upcycle. They are committed to using the best quality materials sourced in a sustainable and responsible way. Check them out.
I met the father and daughter team of Gallant International who provide premium quality, GOTS and Fair Trade Certified bags and accessories. The bags were of high quality and can be customized for your business needs. Many of us take for granted that the bags that are freely given away at events or at stores are cheap and free because they are not composed of the best materials and made in factories in appalling conditions. As a business, it's important to show how much you value people and the environment. A great way to do that is to invest in quality branding products. Will a cheap pen with your logo on it help your branding presence? Probably not. Then consider a quality accessory that is GOTS and Fair Trade certified from Gallant. If you are a business looking to add a new line, perhaps there's something in their repertoire that will add value to your line of products. Their line of tote bags is also a great way to reduce plastic bag use. If you've been following me on Insta, you know that May is about going #plasticfree.
Syona is an organic bedding company. They kept their line simple with just 3 collections in minimalist, muted colors that will go with any decor in your home. Everything is GOTS and Fair Trade certified. You can mix and match to get a wider range of options. I also love that each set comes in it's own cloth case so no more losing one pillowcase and no plastic to boot. You'll definitely want to take care of these sheets.
Interested in purchasing and trying them out. Use Coupon Code: SAVE50 for a limited time.
Organic Cotton Plus
If you are a maker and looking to source organic textile materials, then Organic Cotton Plus may be the place for you. They offer organic fabric, yarn, dyes, crafting tools for any desired projects. This is a great resource if you are looking to make products from GOTS certified fabrics. I guess it's time to start working on those Pinterest projects we've been pinning and hoping to do for so long now. How awesome is it that their coupon is printed on a piece of cloth too? That's clever!
I didn't get a chance to speak with these companies/organizations, but it's worth checking them out. Yes, all companies in this list and above help sponsor the event.
Rambler's Way - Sustainable clothing made in America, sourced responsibly.
Timberland - Yes, the makers of those famous boots have sustainability in mind.
Naturepedic - Sleep easy with a mattress free from formaldehyde, pesticides, GMO or questionable materials.
Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative - Farmers in this coop produce the majority of organic cotton in the US.