What is “organic fabric”?

There is a big difference between an organic cotton bedsheet and an organic bedsheet.

What is the difference? The fiber, organic cotton, may have been raised with regard to health and safety of the planet and people; but the production of the fabric made from that cotton was not.

There are many steps in the production of fabric AFTER the fiber stage. Textile production steps can include carding, retting, scouring, bleaching, spinning, weaving, dyeing, printing, and finishing, and many other steps.

Think about making organic applesauce: You can start with organic apples, but if you add Red Dye #2, stabilizers, emulsifiers, preservatives, ascorbic acid and high fructose corn syrup - you do not end up with organic applesauce.

Same holds true for fabric: One yard of organic cotton fiber conventionally processed into fabric (that is, not processed to GOTS) contains 73% organic cotton fibers and 27% chemicals, many of which have been proven toxic to humans and animals.

When we talk about organic fabric, we mean a fabric that holds the third party certification that we think is the gold standard: GOTS – the Global Organic Textile Standard. It is still very hard to find GOTS certified fabrics. It is hard to find because, among many other requirements, it requires water treatment and the payment of fair wages in safe working conditions.