TEXTILE CERTIFICATION LABEL GUIDE
When it comes to shopping for textiles, probably the main argument why you want to buy from companies that use non-toxic, sustainable and ethical practices is, you either going to wear them (clothing), pat yourself dry (towels) or sleep on them (sheets), which means your skin comes in contact with that fabric. The skin is very absorbent and is the largest organ of the body. Everything you put on your skin goes into your body. This is more prevalent with skin care but also important with textiles.
Another aspect is that the textile/fashion industry is a big environmental polluter. There is ‘dirty cotton', as well as inequality and abuse.
To list some environmental impacts of cotton sourced from WFF:
Cotton cultivation severely degrades soil quality. Despite the global area devoted to cotton cultivation remaining constant for the past 70 years, cotton production has depleted and degraded the soil in many areas. Most cotton is grown on well-established fields, but their exhaustion leads to expansion into new areas and the attendant destruction of habitat.
Conventional production practices for cotton involve the application of substantial fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides threaten the quality of soil and water, as well as the health of biodiversity in and downstream from the fields. Heavy use of pesticides also raises concern for the health of farm workers and nearby populations.
Runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and minerals from cotton fields contaminates rivers, lakes, wetlands, and underground aquifers. These pollutants affect biodiversity directly by immediate toxicity or indirectly through long-term accumulation.
Production and processing of cotton uses a large amount of water. Some experts contend that cotton is the largest user of water among all agricultural commodities. Surface and ground waters are often diverted to irrigate cotton fields, leading to freshwater loss through evaporation, and inefficient water management.
Companies don’t have to certify their products yet. Hopefully that will change and become mandatory in the near future. At this stage brands can choose what labels to get and set themselves apart as ethical and sustainable.
As consumers we have the power to drive this trend forward by voting with our money and demand change in that way. If you and thousands of other people stop buying a particular product, the producer can either file for bankruptcy or has to employ a different strategy.
Put your money in industries that have adapted sustainable practices. This guide can help you identify such brands. By clicking on the actual label here you can find out what they mean and stand for.