What is Organic Clothing?

Different types of Textile fibers

Before we jump right into defining “What is Organic Clothing”, let’s start by defining the different types of fibers that exist in the apparel sector. Fibers can be classified into three types primarily, Natural fibers (Animal and Plant-based), Synthetic fibers, and Semi-synthetic fibers. Below are a few examples of the different types:

All fabrics can be characterized as either natural or synthetic fibers (or a blend of the two). Both types have pros and cons; natural fibers come from plants and animals, while synthetic fibers are made from chemical compounds, and each is valued in the textile industry for different reasons.

Description on what is organic clothing
Natural FibersSynthetic FibersSemi-Synthetic Fibers
CottonPolyesterBamboo Viscose

What are Organic fibers?

Having described the different types of fibers, let’s talk about what defines an “Organic” fiber. One would naturally assume that Organic fibers are natural fibers grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizer. While this is partially true, it is not completely true. Any agricultural product that is deemed “Organic” is governed by the frameworks laid out under IFOAM- Organic International, and this framework focuses on 4 key principles, Health, Ecology, Fairness, and Care.

Health – Organic agriculture should avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, animal drugs, and food additives that may have adverse health effects.

Ecology –   Organic agriculture should attain ecological balance through the design of farming systems, establishment of habitats, and maintenance of genetic and agricultural diversity.

Fairness – Natural and environmental resources, used in production, should be managed in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

Care – Organic agriculture should ensure precaution and responsibility to protect the health and well-being of future and generations and the environment.

What is Organic Clothing?

Now that you know what Organic fibers are, let’s get into how Organic clothes are made. Put simply, a piece of textile can only be deemed “Organic” when it is produced following environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing practices at each processing stage of the garment manufacturing process, i.e., Separation and Identification, Spinning, Weaving/Knitting, Pre-treatment, Dyeing, Printing, and Finishing.

Environmentally responsible practicesSocially responsible practices
Prohibits:Must Ensure:
All inputs that contain GMO or enzymes derived from GMOEmployment is freely chosen
All heavy metal chemicals inputsThe right to collective bargaining power is respected
Inputs releasing carcinogenic compoundsChild labor is not used
Inputs that are classified with specific hazard statements related to health/environmental hazardsNo discrimination is practiced
Chemicals containing plastics, phthalates, chlorinated plasticsWorking conditions are safe and hygienic
Discharge of untreated wastewater (must have pH between 6 and 9) …etc.Fair remuneration is paid…etc.

How to tell if clothing is Organic?

Now that you know what goes (and does not go) into Organic Clothing, let’s talk about how a consumer can identify Organic Clothing. We’ve listed a few methods below:

  1. Certifications

Option 1, look for certifications. The two most common standards for Organic clothing certifications are:

While they differ slightly, they both follow the principles laid out by the umbrella organization IFOAM- Organic International

2. Transparency (which is what we follow at Woodwose)

Option 2, know the source of your clothes and the corresponding vendors. Here at Woodose Organic Clothing, we follow the practice of letting our customers know where their clothes were made and ensuring that each vendor involved in manufacturing our clothes is certified by accredited bodies. (Learn more)

Have questions, please write to us at info@woodwose.in or check us out at https://woodwose.in/

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