For so many reasons, I was sad that the in-person Organic Week in Washington, D.C., could not be held this year. One thing I was looking forward to was the interface between the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council members with its Retail Council members. The retailers are just one step away from the consumers, so from my vantage point, the more educated the retailers are about organic textiles, the clearer their messaging is to shoppers.
Since the inception of the Organic Foods Production Act, certified organic wool must originate from a sheep that was managed organically from its last third of gestation, and never received treatments of antibiotics or synthetic parasiticides throughout its entire life. However, the regulatory requirement for parasiticides recently underwent a seemingly minor yet significant adjustment to accommodate sick animals in emergency treatment situations.
I am an organic cotton bale, grown in the U.S. In real life, I am 500 times this size, weighing approximately 500 pounds.
My 500-pound size can typically be produced on less than 1 acre, depending on weather conditions. I can produce 1,217 T-shirts, 215 pairs of jeans, 249 bed sheets or 4,321 socks.
But, I wasn’t always organic. Twenty-five years ago, I was grown conventionally with the help of numerous synthetically produced toxic pesticides and fertilizers. I will tell you how I got here.
Organic is not just for eating anymore! Twenty-four cutting-edge and innovative organic fiber lifestyle brands and support businesses making up the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Fiber Council proved that point in an inspiring, educational and entertaining two-day organic fiber pop-up event in the heart of Manhattan.
OTA’s Fiber Council convened a task force of members in September to address the very heart of misleading organic claims and prepare comments on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and National Organic Program (NOP) joint consumer survey. The survey focused on consumers’ perception of false claims on non-food products, namely textiles and body care products.
An ongoing concern for the organic sector has been the lack of enforcement of organic claims on non-food items that are non-agricultural.
Fifty companies in the United States are now certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Meanwhile, Canada has seven companies certified to the program. GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing—including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing—of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The standard includes both environmental and social criteria.