You might be wondering, Isn't good 'ole cotton not enough? Not exactly. As it turns out, we have a better alternative, one that is safer for us and our little ones. Grown without chemicals, organic cotton has fewer potential allergens making the fabric gentler to your skin. Organic cotton is perfect for those who are suffering from eczema and other conditions because it's so soft and won't tug on your skin like conventional cotton. More than that, choosing organic cotton is ecological and socially responsible.
Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers among other scary-sounding concoctions are completely avoided in growing organic cotton. The aim of this is to minimize the destructive impact that conventional cotton growing and manufacturing methods on Mother Earth.
In organic cotton farming, a back-to-basics but totally effective approach called crop rotation is used to keep the soil healthy, moist and with its nutrients intact. Weeds are eliminated through hand-weeding and hand-hoeing. Natural predators, beneficial insects and trap crops are used to keep the nasty pests at bay instead of harmful pesticides. This way, good cotton is produced without leaving damaging residue behind.
At Babu we chose to work with a farmers' cooperative in India. This allows us the wonderful opportunity to support the village, families and the local school. More importantly, we have made the choice to be close to the source of the cotton so that energy used in transportation is greatly reduced, meaning we leave a smaller carbon footprint and make the world a better place for generations to come.
With all the rage surrounding all things organic, questions about the authenticity of manufacturers' claims have been raised. We have chosen to adhere to GOTS standard.
GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard - the leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. Approved GOTS certification bodies ensure through on-site inspection that every process the fibres go through adheres to the highest standards to ensure low toxicity of the product, minimal carbon footprint in the production and social compliance in terms of employment- from the harvesting of the raw materials, down to packaging and distribution.
We LOVE the GOTS standard as it is the highest standard for organics. Many other standards simply certify the cotton and none of the processing, even if you are buying organic cotton, the process may be harmful, so do your research.
It's not only the materials and methodology in manufacturing GOTS organic cotton that is remarkable. The manpower employed in every step of the process is treated fairly and with high regard. All employees are freely-employed, paid fairly and work in a safe and hygienic work place. Working hours are limited and no child or indentured labour is involved. Even discrimination is not tolerated.
We are very lucky to work with suppliers who run cattle and organic farms, supplying organic vegetable s and dairy to their workers. Simply put, buying organic cotton is buying with a conscience.
Organic cotton from GOTS-certified suppliers should pass the basic requirements for toxicity and biodegradability:
- Use of heavy toxic metals, formaldehyde and genetically-modified organisms (GMO) are prohibited whether in the bleach or sizing agents
- Oxygen-based bleach only, never chlorine
- No aromatic solvents phthalates and PVC can be used in printing
- Operators should also have environmental policies aimed to minimize waste and discharge
- Waste water treatment facilities are a must to ensure that waste water is properly discharged
- Packaging material must be PVC-free
GOTS-certified suppliers are also expected to comply with the following social criteria:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Workers are free to form associations and have the right to collective bargaining
- Safe and hygienic working conditions
- No child labor
- Fair wages
- No excessive working hours
- No discrimination
- Regular employment is provided
- Workers are treated humanely
Here at Babu, all of our organic cotton is to the highest standard, either OE100 for our toweling or GOTS for our super soft and luxurious interlock made without harming the environment, and contributes to the betterment of other peoples' lives. Where we do use conventional cotton we completely avoid harmful dyes, never use chemical bleaches and definitely NO finishers, because who wants formaldehyde anywhere near their wee ones.