Sew Eco-Logical is no longer in business.

We are continuing this website as a resource for those seeking organic fabrics.

Sew Eco-Logical • 1-541-556-7472: Reliability, professionalism, and expertise in organic textiles.
[navigation bar] Benefits of Organic Frequently Asked Questions About Us
  1. Definition of Organic and Certification Standards
    1. What is the current definition of an organic fabric?
      The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was created in 1996 by companies such as Patagonia who utilized organic fiber, agricultural and trade group non profits promoting the use of organic fiber and certifiers that inspect materials and processes. GOTS is a voluntary standard that is now the world standard. It touches on every aspect of manufacture but sometimes leaves out detail. The historic standards such as the American, JAS, Control Union continue to be referenced in certifying organic textiles. The U.S. regulations pertaining to food apply to cotton cultivation. This is because cotton seed oil is a food crop. The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) is this country's law pertaining to how the organic cotton is grown in any organic cotton product sold in the U.S.
    2. Are the organic textiles on the market certified from field to finishing?
      Some are, some are are not. The market has not always borne the cost of certifying each stage of the manufacture. Spinner, weavers, finishers do not feel it is worth it to pay to certify. More likely than not, a U.S. organic fiber product is not certified from field to finishing. We still request our milling partners use the GOTS approved products on the certified organic cotton achieving the same results as a GOTS certified fabric. IN addition, each stage of the manufacturing keeps a record of the organic material which is passed along in the next stage of production. We keep these records tracking the entire production of the organic fabric. Overseas, mills are more likely to be certified from field to fabric to clothing manufacture but not always. Please ask us about any fabric you are interested in. We will tell you it's certification details.
    3. How is organic cotton grown differently than regular cotton?
      Organic farming nurtures the soil’s biological life. Conventional cotton deadens the soil, kills most everything in the name of controlling pests. Organic farming fosters the health of a diversity of insects, birds, soil microbes, and worms. Insects injurious to cotton are held in check by this diversity. Organic farmers rotate crops to allow the soil to rest. Cover crops are grown and natural fertilizers are applied to improve the soil for the long term.
      Chemicals commonly applied to conventionally grown cotton are neuro-toxins, contact bird killers, carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens. For more information on distinctions read below, Incorporating Organic Into Your Line.
      Organic cotton is grown with non GMO seed. The majority of conventional cotton seed in the U.S. is GMO.
    4. How about the manufacturing of organic textiles?
      Manufacturing to the organic standard requires mills to special order, educate themselves and sometime retool to utilize different sizes, oils, detergents, scours, dyes, and auxiliaries. Mills shut down lines and clean equipment prior to running the organic. Goods must be segregated to avoid contact with everything else in the mill. Paperwork is generated to track materials and goods. Organic standards mandate responsible wastewater disposal systems be in effect and workers are treated fairly.
    5. What is certification, and who are the certifiers?
      Certification involves on-site inspection, inspector’s reporting, review of the report by the certification administrative board in light of the standard, and a certifier’s decision to certify or not the operations of the farm, gin, spinner, mill, dye house, or finishing facility. Certifiers are independent nonprofit and for-profit companies that inspect the fiber farming, each step of the manufacture, and all record keeping according to the designated organic fiber standard. Certification is voluntary and not mandated by law.
    6. Are the standards of organic fabric codified under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), or other U.S. Federal law?
      The growing of organic fiber is regulated per the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) as it relates to the growing of crops. The National Organic Program which administrates the organic law says that the USDA organic label can only be used when the organic cotton is grown to the tenants of the law. The Federal Trade Commission regulations apply to language on labels of all textile products in the U.S. Other than this, the Federal government does not regulate the manufacturing of organic cotton fabrics or items made of organic cotton.
  2. Incorporating Organic Into Your Line
    1. Where do I find more information about the benefits of organic cotton?
      Visit the following web sites:
    2. How can you assist me in making the case to my company’s management to go organic?
      We can arrange for an invitation to one of two farm tours, either the Sustainable Cotton Project’s annual tour of cotton agriculture or the TOMC field day. The tours are held in late September/early October in the San Joaquin Valley and northwest Texas respectively. These are eye opening experiences and key to understanding the severe problems associated with cotton agriculture and the opportunities for your company to be part of the solution!
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