Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do you believe the clothing is made of Organic Cotton?

How do you know clothing is made of organic cotton?

In general, organic cotton can be identified by tag, label, green logo or other mark from an offical certification body qualifying it as certified. So, prior to call the cotton as "organic, it has met stringent stanrards at each stage of production, which from planting, carding, spinning, milling, storage, manufacturing, wholesaling to retailing. It also has met on-site monitoring tests of soil and water, and passed audits at each step.

Internationally, there are no harmful substance standards or single certification for organic cotton among countries that have "organic" regulations. Worldwide there is a confusing array of federal and state government regulations, national certifications, voluntary standards and logos, accreditation systems, and local and privte sector requirements for organic products. In global market, there are some influential organizations are working on supporting organic textiles.

* International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM)
*Organic Trade Association (OTA) in the US
* Soil Association in the UK
* International Association of Natural Textile Industry (IVN) in Germany
* Demeter in Europe and internationally

Is there any regulations for "organic products"?

In the US, the Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) regulates what constitutes an "organic product" under the Organic Foods Production Act. In addition, some states such as California, Texas, Oregon, Washington...etc, have their own organic programs with additional requirements.

Under USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) labelling, the garment should state what percent of the product is "organic cotton". The retailer must be able to provide documents to support their claim. This certificaion demonstrates that the cotton has met stringent requirement at each stage of proceeding and was grown using enviromentally-friendly agricultural methods. In order to carry the USDA Organic logo, any product sold in the US, must have been inspected by an agent of the USDA certification program.

Besides, there is no USDA standards for organic textiles, but rather for organic cotton. It is because the regulations apply to the actual cotton, and not the finished cotton textile. So, it is possible that a cotton garment made from 100% certified organic cotton may not be fully "organic" or fully "green", as it could still contain harsh chemical finishes, bleaches or some heavy metal dyes.

In last, product with claimed "organic cotton" with certification that regarding to the process and not to the acutal product. Cotton that met a particular country's certification requirements ia all the "proof" available that the cotton is "organic".

For more information on retailers using organ ic cotton, visit the Organic Consumer marketplace at:

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this topic is confusing. Thankfully GOTS has emerged as the leading processing standard for organic fibers. You can read more about it at Look for the GOTS logo for assurance that the entire production has been done in a thoughtful and environmentally sensitive way.