From Seed To Scarf: The Story Of An Organic Printed Fashion Scarf from Beau Monde Organics

 
  
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.

The BMO Mission is that of creating peaceful positive change.
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. 

 

Organic cotton plants in the field, ready for harvesting
 

Let's go back to that "organic" fabric. 
From seed to scarf, there are many steps. 

So here's the story of how my scarves come to be.

Many don't realize that it starts with the most basic thing - a cotton seed.
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. 
(in our case; our fabic is Global Organic Textile Standards, or GOTS certified)
 This cotton seed is then planted and grown in 
a Certified organic manner, meaning under special 
supervision to assure that is is grown without the use
of pesticides and no herbicides or chemical-based insecticides. 

At this point, this is exactly the same as for plants, 
such as fruit and vegetables, 
that are grown specifically for food. 

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...
and then to your kitchen and table!


Organic cotton farmers Gullapalilli Rajeswari 
and her husband pick cotton in their field
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.

Organic cotton fiber being spun into threads at a  modern mill.

Then it's ready to be shipped to a textile distributor, 
where some non-chemical additional finishing takes place,
and where we place an order to purchase it. 


This lovely, soft, pure, undyed organic fabric gets delivered
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)

Fabric being printed on a digital printing press machine

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 
American-made organic scarves to do so.
(if you know differently, please do inform me!)

 and here are some of the results...

 



 
Another wonderful thing about organic cotton fabric
is the natural softness it has, which, for us, falls somewhere between
a feeling of silk and cotton batiste, but what's great is that 
it's achieved without the use of any softening chemicals,
grown without any chemicals or pesticides.
This saves us which saves us from the sad facts of 
 current conventional cotton production:
for every 3 pounds of (conventionally grown) cotton harvested,
1 pound ofchemical fetilizers and pesticides
is put onto the plants and soil!
They're some of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
most toxic
classified chemicals. (read more details here)


 
  Hope you enjoyed knowing more about Beau Monde Organics scarves.

Let me know if you'd like to see more 'behind the scenes' from us!

till next time, 
live organically, live beautifully!

stephanie- 



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3 comments

  1. I love hearing the story of your organic scarves. I had no idea that even the thread is organic. That's attention to detail. Good Job Stephanie!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Joy. So much appreciate that kind of feedback!
    There are now many 'eco-friendly' scarves available, so I thought my readers might like to know some of what it is that makes Beau Monde Organics scarves so special.
    It does take Committment, and, as you mentioned, it also takes 'Attention to detail'. We're proud of that.
    There's more that makes us stand out in the scarf and fashion worId, so I hope to bring more 'behind the scenes' stories to you all soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. More thanks to Joy Light, at for sharing the scarf love, and my story on her beautiful blog! Visit 'Planet Joy' at http://www.joysilk.blogspot.com/, for my post, and more - and be welcomed into the garden!

    ReplyDelete