Why organic cotton?
Conventional cotton is one of the world’s most environmentally harmful crops. It covers approximately five procent of the world’s agricultural grounds, but is sprayed with nearly 25 percent of the world’s total use of insecticides. Between 20-30 sprayings per season is damaging to our biodiversity, our earth quality and our drinking water. It is also damaging to the health of the workers who come in contact with the insecticides when spraying and harvesting and when manufacturing the cotton. The United Nation’s World Health Organization, estimates that around 3 million workers experience symptoms of poisoning on a yearly basis that is caused by working with insecticides. Approximately 40,000 of those workers die, according to the International Labor Organization. Source: WHO/UnEP: The public health impact of pesticides used in agriculture, World Health Organization/ United Nations Environment Programme (Geneve, 1990).
Both cotton farmers and our environment benefit from the cultivation of organic cotton. Crop production may be smaller, but the farmers who use organic practices are usually economically better off. They have less costs for chemicals and the market price is higher for their organic cotton products as opposed to products cultivated with insecticides and fertilizers. Organic farmers in developing countries often have a higher cash income, thus allowing access to a better livelihood. Organic cotton also helps protect our drinking water and biodiversity worldwide. These are the reasons why TrueStuff only uses organic cotton.
Natural textile fibers such as cotton, flax, and hemp are crops that can be produced according to international standards for organic agriculture. Farmers within and outside of the EU must comply with EU’s regulations in order to sell their crops as ecological crops in Europe. In Denmark, it’s the state that controls organic cultivation but in most other countries it’s done through international certifying organisations. TrueStuff uses cotton yarns from spinning mills that are certified according to EU regulation and hence yarn that is certified by EU qualifying certificates.
The environment and other textile fibers
In addition to cotton, TrueStuff uses flax, hemp and wool. Like cotton, these fibers can also be cultivated organically. The environmental hazards involved in producing these fibers, in comparison to cultivating cotton, are significantly less and the organic production of these fibers is still very small making it very difficult to buy. Only small amounts of pesticides are needed to produce flax and hemp. TrueStuff employs organic and conventionally cultivated flax, hemp and wool. TrueStuff clearly marks the use of certified ecological fibers.
The industrial processes
There is a long process between the production of certified organic yarn to the creation of the finished goods. TrueStuff carefully chooses European factories that document their use of environmentally friendly methods including dying fibres without using toxic substances, bleaching with environmentally friendly bleach and using up to date purification methods for wastewater. Likewise, formaldahyde is forbidden in the production of TrueStuff’s products. With TrueStuff textiles you are ensured of the purest and softest product possible in terms of industrially manufactured textiles.
The working environment
TrueStuff tailors its products at sewing facilities in Poland and in the Baltic States where employees have a 37½-hour workweek, a 5-week vacation, health insurance, including maternity leave and the right to organize.