Recently, I was speaking with someone who, when I
mentioned that I design and produce "organic scarves",
the response I got back was:
"How can a scarf be organic? Isn't that just for produce?".
This question made me step back, and it made me
realize that even though there is a great increase
in the acceptance of "organically grown" products,
many people are still not aware of how organic fabric is created.
Especially not sure of what is different about 'organic' goods in general.
No more than they know how their meat comes
to the table, or how most any goods come to us.
All we see is the final product,
in a bright shiny store display, ready to take home.
That often includes a bit of educating and informing people.
It is part of our company Mission to engender the move toward
a more sustainable future. But that can't happen if people don't have
the information to make a choice and are given a reason to change.
So it comes to those of us who do know, to get out
the back story and work to inform those
who are not yet sure what all the buzz is about.
So here's the story of how my scarves come to be.
But a special cotton seed, a seed that is from a organic,
Non-Genetically Modified cotton flower, that was 3rd-party certified
that it was grown by Organic standards.
of pesticides and no herbicides or chemical-based insecticides.
Those plants would then be harvested, and
sent for cleaning sorting and packing, then quickly
on to the grocery store, or to the Farmer's Market...
in Kishtapur, Andhra Pradesh, India.
They have been growing organic cotton
for 4 years while building ecological pest protection with natural methods.
They have hardly any pests in their cotton plants now.
Their cotton is certified organic and sold directly to a fashion brand in Europe.
But once the organic cotton is grown, it's harvested, too,
but has a bit more of journey of transformation.
First, the organic cotton fibers are sent to be cleaned
and prepared to be spun into threads.
This is also by certified organic methods, using no chemicals to
smooth the thread fibers. ( beeswax is commonly used).
The resulting large spools of threads are then taken to a textile mill
to be set up onto looms and woven into cloth. Before leaving the mill,
it's also certified as organic to be sure it's free of the chemical treatments
and finishing products that are commonly used
with non-organic cotton fabric production.
Then it's ready to be shipped to a textile distributor,
and where we place an order to purchase it.
to my textile printer, who loads it onto their
special printing press, and prints it with my designs.
They use non-toxic, aqueous (water-based) inks, and finish
the job with a low water, heat-set process,
so the colors won't wash out.
Standard (non-organic) production uses toxic dyes,
chemical relaxers and smoothers
and hundreds of gallons of polluted waste water to set
and finish printed textiles. Other use non-toxic dyes,
but need lots of water to rinse and set the colors.
(The print process we use saves approximately 60-70%
less water over reactive-dye printing, another eco-friendly method)
The final step in our process is one that is not common to most organic
apparel or accessories: it is cut carefully by hand, not by machines
or lasers, and it's sewn with certified organic cotton thread.
a tailor's work table
This is special for 2 reasons: First is that it exceeds GOTS requirements,
which allow polyester thread to be used (but we use no petroleum products)
and secondly, as far as I know or am aware,
Beau Monde Organics is the only
(if you know differently, please do inform me!)
is the natural softness it has, which, for us, falls somewhere between
grown without any chemicals or pesticides.
This saves us which saves us from the sad facts of
1 pound ofchemical fetilizers and pesticides
is put onto the plants and soil!
most toxic classified chemicals. (read more details here)