The clothing industry contributes greatly to carbon emissions and global warming on the environment due to the long and varied supply chains of production, raw material extraction, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimately disposal of the garment. My little effort to make this planet a place of beauty is challenging and not enough but we strive for it and are excited about the future
Materials we use in our garments:
Organic cotton farming uses less water compared to conventional cotton. With no use of pesticides, unlike conventional, which is responsible for 25% of the world’s pesticide consumption, in addition not using insecticides and fertilizers supports the land’s biodiversity
Bamboo is a hardy, highly renewable grass and is generally grown with few chemical inputs. The fabric also has natural antibacterial properties, breathes and is biodegradable. However, toxic chemicals may be used to turn the plant into fabric. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that companies using this process label their products bamboo-based rayon.
Tencel is made from natural cellulose wood pulp and is fully biodegradable. It uses Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood pulp and less-toxic chemicals in a closed-loop process
All the garments I supply have the GOTS certification:
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognised requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets. Approved are natural fibres that are certified organic and fibres from conversion period certified according to recognised international or national standards and certified by any IFOAM accredited or internationally recognised (according to ISO 65) certifier.
Key criteria for processing and manufacturing include: Environmental Criteria
At all stages through the processing organic fibre products must be separated from conventional fibre products and must to be clearly identified
All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meeting 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 minimise 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 and Human Toxicity Criteria
Technical quality parameters must be met (s.a. 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
Minimum Social Criteria Minimum social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) must be met by all processors and manufacturers, including at farm level. 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 Labour Organization (ILO) have to be taken as the relevant basis for interpretation.
• Employment is freely chosen
• There is no forced or bonded labour
• Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
• Working conditions are safe and hygienic
• Child labour must not be used
• Living wages
• Working hours are not excessive
• No discrimination is practised
• Regular employment is provided
• Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited Quality Assurance System Generally a company participating in the GOTS certification scheme must work in compliance with all criteria of the standard.
GOTS relies on a dual system to check compliance with the relevant criteria consisting of on-site auditing and residue testing.