Photo: Fuhrmann Argentina
Is there really any point?
Most people know a thing or two about organic food. Many of the same principles lie behind organic textiles, but there are also some differences. The GOTS certification that we use has a broad range of requirements that are wider than what we typically think of when we think of organic. It's not just about the sheep's conditions. It's about the entire supply chain from the sheep to the clothes on your body.
Photo: Fuhrmann Argentina
Pesticides are found in all agriculture. On farms with organic operations, most pesticides are banned. That means that there are no chemicals in the grass where the sheep graze. That's good news for the sheep, but also for those of you who don't want chemicals in your wool.
This also makes the insect and animal life close to an organic farm an average of about 50% more diverse. In other words: wild plants and animals don't die due to pesticides here. That's good news for both the ecosystem and for conserving species diversity.
Animal welfare is a big part of the certification. Of course, that means that mulesing is not allowed, but it also requires a wide range of other things. For example, lots of space, fresh water, and a life without fear and anxiety. Synthetic hormone therapy and gene modification are also not allowed.
Good animal welfare is good news. Period.
Have you heard of superwash? Most of us haven't, but a lot of things indicate that the topic will be getting a lot of attention soon. Superwash is a treatment that puts a plastic coating on wool fibers, so the product won't shrink. Most wool products have a treatment like this. So, you can assume that your non-organic wool products contain plastic that turn into microplastics when washed. Organic wool does not allow this treatment, and that's good for all of us who want less plastic in the ocean. Read more here.
There are certain challenges when it comes to wool: It's not very strong, it doesn't dye easily, it can be itchy and it shrinks when washed. The easiest and cheapest solution is to use toxic chemicals. In organic wool this is strictly regulated. That means less chemicals, and fewer toxins that end up in nature.
Chemicals and treatments also affect our waters - both our ground water and the ocean. Chemicals from manufacturing can find their way out into nature, and when washing your product the chemicals will flow out into nature. By choosing organic you are contributing to cleaner water. That's good news for all living creatures.
The certification doesn't stop there. It also ensures that the manufacturer, those who actually manufacture the clothes, have certain environmental and labor standards. Long story short, it ensures that everyone is satisfied at work and earns a fair wage. It also means that the product won't be treated with anything other than approved organic chemicals that are better for the environment.
All of this is good news for our planet. In addition, you can put on a piece of clothing that is made with pure materials and that is chemical and toxin-free.
You might be thinking that this should be a matter of course.
We agree. But we can guarantee that if you got all the facts about what effects most clothes have on our planet, you would probably be pretty bummed. Animals, nature and people suffer from an industry that for the most part only cares about profit.
Organically manufactured wool isn't the answer to everything, but we are sure that it is a step towards a better textile industry and a better world. The price per product is a bit higher, but can we really afford not to care?
- Pesticides are restricted
- Plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms
- The sheep graze and forage naturally on plenty of space with a diet free from genetically modified organisms
- Synthetic hormones and genetic engineering is prohibited
- Water and soil contamination is reduced
- Factory workers have high social conditions, minimum wage and the right to organise
- End garments don't contain toxic, allergenic or carcinogenic chemicals
- All this keeps your ass warm and toxic free