What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is cotton that is grown without toxic pesticides or insecticides.
Traditionally grown cotton is sprayed with chemicals that soak into the plant, the surrounding ground and can become ingested by the farmer. When pesticides are sprayed, toxic runoff often happens, where these toxic chemicals leak into drinking water supplies, rivers, lakes, and other sensitive ecosystems. Long term exposure to these chemicals can be detrimental to a farmer’s health and can negatively impact their lives. Research shows that conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. Cotton used $4.2 billion worth of pesticides in 2017 accounting for 6.35% by value of all the plant protection chemicals sold that year, including 12.34% of all insecticide sales and 3.94% of herbicide sales.
These harmful chemicals can be deadly, as pesticides can poison farmers all over the world. Factory workers too, have to breathe in their fumes during the manufacturing process. These harmful chemicals also soak into run-off water after heavy rains, ultimately poisoning the ocean, lakes, rivers and waterways.
Organic cotton farming uses natural processes rather than man made and doesn’t allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local areas. It is a blend of tradition, innovation, and science which promotes fair relationships and a good quality of life for everyone involved. By practicing organic farming, farmers, their families, factory workers and the final consumer won’t be exposed to chemicals that are harmful and the soil’s health will be maintained. Our organic cotton uses ~91% less water and ~62% less energy compared to conventional cotton.
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What is GOTS Certification?
Our cotton is grown and processed according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) guidelines, making all of our products GOTS Certified.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification is a strict voluntary global standard for post-harvest processing like spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, manufacturing of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber.
The standard forbids the use of toxic chemicals during the processing stages and includes strong labor as well a prohibition of child labor. GOTS covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of products sold as GOTS certified. When you purchase a GOTS Certified product, it means that the product has met strict environmental and social criteria throughout its entire supply chain. Here are some of the requirements of GOTS certification:
- Certification of fibers from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming standard permits such certification
- A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibers.
Our products are made with 100% Organic Cotton.
- At all stages through the processing organic fiber products must be separated from conventional fiber products and must be clearly identified
- All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability
- Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
- The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
- Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
- Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
- Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
- Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted)
- All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimize waste and discharges
- Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant.
- Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC
- Technical quality parameters must be met (such as rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)
- Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues
Social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labor Organization (ILO) must be met by all processors and manufacturers. They must have a social compliance management with defined elements in place to ensure that the social criteria can be met. For adequate implementation and assessment of the following social criteria topics the listed applicable key conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) have to be taken as the relevant basis for interpretation.
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labor must not be used
- Living wages
- Working hours are not excessive
- No discrimination is practiced
- Regular employment is provided
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited
- Fiber producers (farmers) must be certified according to a recognized international or national organic farming standard that is accepted in the country where the final product will be sold
- Certifiers of fiber producers must be internationally recognized according to ISO 65 and/or IFOAM accreditation. They also must be accredited to certify according to the applicable fiber standard
- Operators from post-harvest handling up to garment making and traders have to undergo an annual on-site inspection cycle and must hold a valid GOTS operational certificate applicable for the production / trade of the textiles to be certified
- Certifiers of processors, manufacturers and traders must be internationally accredited according to ISO 65 and must hold a ‘GOTS accreditation’ in accordance with the rules as defined in the ‘Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies’