We’re continuing our deep dive into sustainability this month for Earth Month. Today we’re talking about textile certifications — what we should be looking for, and what they mean.
There are several fabric certifications that quilters can look for to ensure that they are using fabrics that are sustainable and ethically produced. Here are some of the most common textile certifications to look for:
Organic certifications refer to the way that cotton is grown. Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and is produced using sustainable farming practices. Organic certifications, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), set strict environmental and social standards for the entire production chain, from farming to finished product.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the most widely recognized certifications for organic fabrics. It ensures that the fabric has been produced without the use of harmful chemicals or synthetic materials, and that it meets strict environmental and social standards.
OEKO-TEX Standard 100
OEKO-TEX is a is a global certification that applies to finished textile products. It tests for harmful substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, and formaldehyde, and sets strict limits for their presence in the finished product. This certification ensures that textile products are safe for human use and have been produced in an environmentally responsible way.
Fair Trade Certified
Fair Trade Certified fabrics are produced under strict labor and environmental standards. This certification ensures that workers are paid a fair wage, work in safe conditions, and that environmental sustainability is prioritized in production.
Bluesign is a certification that ensures textiles are produced using environmentally friendly processes. It evaluates the entire production chain, from raw materials to finished products, and sets strict standards for chemical use and waste reduction.
Cradle to Cradle Certified
Cradle to Cradle is a certification that evaluates products based on their environmental impact throughout their entire lifecycle. It assesses factors such as material health, recyclability, and water and energy use.
E3 cotton is a certification that refers specifically to the farming practices used to grow the cotton. It is an initiative that aims to promote sustainable cotton farming by reducing the use of water, pesticides, and fertilizers. E3 cotton farms are also required to meet certain social and environmental standards, such as ensuring fair labor practices and protecting biodiversity.
Summing It Up!
In summary, while E3 cotton and organic cotton focus on sustainable farming practices, GOTS certified cotton emphasizes the entire production chain’s social responsibility, and OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified cotton focuses on the safety and harmful chemical-free aspects of the final product. Each certification plays an important role in promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible textile production.
To be a more eco-conscious quilter, look for fabrics that carry one or more of these certifications. Choosing fabrics that have been produced sustainably and ethically is an important step in reducing your environmental impact as a quilter.
Other Steps You Can Take
In addition to looking for certifications, there are other steps you can take to be more eco-conscious when quilting. Consider using natural fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, or wool, which have a lower environmental impact than synthetic materials. You can also repurpose fabric from thrift stores or use scraps from other projects to reduce waste.
You Can Do It!
Overall, being an eco-conscious quilter involves being mindful of the materials you use and the impact they have on the environment. By choosing fabrics that have been produced sustainably and ethically, you can create beautiful quilts while reducing your environmental footprint.
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