Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming.
Our GRUND products are certified by Control Union to the GOTS standard. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. Not only does it ensure that the plants are grown organically, it also requires environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing.
Here’s a snapshot of the requirements:
- Textiles must be 95% organic in origin to be GOTS Certified Organic
- Toxic chemicals used in some conventional textile processing, like formaldehyde, heavy metals, and brominated flame retardants, cannot be used
- From farm to factory, organic fibers cannot commingle with conventional.
- Dyes must be naturally derived or safe synthetics (as outlined in the GOTS).
- Manufacturers can’t use finishing methods that pose risks to workers (like sand-blasting denim).
- Manufacturers must have environmental policies and procedures to monitor and improve the environmental performance of their facilities.
- Organic textiles must be stored and transported in a way that prevents contamination by prohibited substances and commingling with conventional products.
- Packaging material must not contain chlorinated plastics (e.g. PVC).
- Any paper or cardboard used in packaging material for the retail trade of GOTS
- Goods (incl. labelling items such as hang tags or swing tags) must be recycled from pre- or post-consumer waste or certified according to a program that verifies compliance with sustainable forestry management principles.
- Transportation means and routes must be documented.
- Textiles must meet specific quality standards in regards to how they hold up to washing and color fading.
At GRUND, we use low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes for dyeing all our products. Our dyes are safe, GOTS certified and "low impact," which means that we use less water, less heat and produce less waste runoff than regular chemical dyeing processes. Recent advances have created fiber-reactive dyes with colors that are brighter and richer than previously available, and they provide excellent colorfast properties on cotton. Fiber-reactive dyes have become the dye choice for many organic clothing manufacturers because they offer a diverse palette of vibrant colors. They contain no heavy metals or other known toxic substances, and they meet all European Union criteria for eco-friendly pigments.
Natural dyes are derived from plants, animals, fruits, insects, minerals and other natural resources. That’s why natural dyes are usually perceived as harmless and safe for the environment. However, that’s not the case all the time. Some natural dye sources such as logwood and bloodroot can be toxic. Logwood can produce a range of colors, but the active ingredients in it, which are hematein and hematoxylin, can be harmful when it enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Meanwhile, bloodroot can also be harmful because it may cause irritation and inflammation when inhaled. Most natural dyes are safe and harmless. However, they can be toxic due to the mordant used for their application. Mordants are substances used to make the natural dye stick to fabrics such as aluminum, copper, iron and chrome. More so, natural dyes are scarce and expensive, because producing it requires a vast area of land.
Sustainability is also an issue because their pigment may wash off overtime.
The challenge with using natural dyes in our everyday products, the color could wash out and fade quickly. So, we follow the strict GOTS standard, which is the toughest textile standard in the world.