Organic Fiber Council stars in pop-up event in NYC

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 collaborated with Lion’esque, a New York City pop-up retail architect group, to put on an organic “#LiveOrganic from Farm to Home” pop-up shop in early May at the Treehaus organic café and food market. At this first-of-its-kind event, OTA member companies highlighted that what you put on your body matters as much as what you put in it.

During the kick-off VIP reception, media guests met and mingled with leaders and pioneers of the organic textile industry. They talked with organic cotton farmer Jimmy Wedel from the Texas High Plains and President of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) whose members produce most of the organic cotton in this country—about growing organic cotton in the most environmentally sustainable way (see accompanying article). They also listened to brief vignettes from each of the gold-sponsoring brands about the mission of their companies and their passion for creating products that support an environmentally sound planet.

Organic apparel, tote bags, and even mattresses were some of the items on display at the #LiveOrganic event. The store liked the infographic so much, it intends to keep it in its deli seating area.

The all-organic pop-up shop featured organic cotton T-shirts, baby clothes, organic wool sweaters and socks, organic sheets and blankets, and even organic mattresses. The intentional setting in an organic food store helped connect the dots between organic food, fiber, fashion and home textiles and the downstream impact they all have on our water and soil.

During the event, hundreds of visitors posted highlights from the pop-up shop on their social media channels using the #LiveOrganic hashtag. From photos in front of the step-and-repeats to videos of brand stories to facts that resonated from our custom infographic, there was no shortage of fun and inspiring moments to share. Much of the sentiment captured through social media expressed enthusiasm for learning something new and curiosity to share new-found knowledge with friends.

Sponsors drove additional opportunities for digital engagement through their own social channels as well as through custom blog posts and press write-ups about the event. In addition to the outstanding social media success, OTA issued a press release that the media widely distributed.

The sponsoring organic fiber and textile brands were Coyuchi, Dhana, Gallant, Grund, MetaWear, Naturepedic, Organic Cotton Plus, prAna, Ramblers Way, Spiritex, Synergy, Syona Home and Timberland. Sponsoring brands, farmers, organizations and retailers were Control Union, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Horizon Organic, OneCert, Oregon Tilth, MOM's Organic Market, Organic Valley, Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative, Textile Exchange, Whole Foods, and the Richard D. Siegel Law Offices.

OTA plans to continue use of the #LiveOrganic hashtag to educate and inspire consumers to choose organic beyond food. Meanwhile, Treehaus agreed to permanently display the OTA’s event infographic on the large wall in its deli seating area. //

Top: Visitors enjoyed learning how they can #liveorganic with food as well as apparel and products for the home.

Bottom: OTA Fiber Council members behind the successful event, from brands to certification organizations and farmers.