Natural Fabrics, Look For These Labels.


The words Natural, Sustainable, Environment and Co2 are almost guaranteed to come up in any newspaper you read or news bulletin you watch. Followed by reports of abnormal weather, temperature levels increasing, and it goes on. We all know what the likely consequences will be if we don’t all start to change our lifestyles and the vast majority of us are trying to do just that.

When we started to look at the materials we use to make our pet products we realised that something we thought was Ok suddenly had a question mark over it. An easy example is cotton, at a guess, we all have at least one pair of jeans in our wardrobe, and the shock for this is! To grow the cotton to make your jeans takes approximately 1800 GALLONS of water. Plus, a ton of chemicals and pesticides that really don’t help the soil or environment.

Whereas organic cotton uses far less water, chemicals and pesticides and is better for you to wear. Brilliant, but how do you know that your organic cotton jeans are the real deal? Standards, you need to check the labels or tags for a recognised trusted standard that certifies organic cotton has been used. Read on to find out what to look for if you want to take your pets and you on a Natural, Sustainable, Environment journey.

Here are the the most globally recognised standards organisations with links to their websites for further information:

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GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standards).

These people have the whole journey from crop to material checked. Strict rules on chemicals used, no hazardous chemicals allowed. Textiles and accessories used must be from organic sources and labour rights standards to abide by. All backed up by independent inspections to ensure this is being done.

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Soil Association.

Very much into organic farming with a connection to fabrics through the growing of crops/trees that make these fabrics. Much like GOTS with strict rules on pesticides and chemical use. Independent inspectors to ensure members comply. Anything with a Soil Association and GOTS logo on it you can be sure it is both organic and environmentally made.

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Less about organic and more about ensuring something we wear is safe for us. Everything used from the thread, fabric buttons, etc., is checked to be safe, environmentally friendly and made in a socially responsible way. Independent inspectors are used to ensure these standards are being complied with.

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FSC UK Forestry.

The Forest Stewardship Council logo means the wood used to make products come from strictly maintained forests. These forests are grown to high environmental and social standards. They are all independently inspected to ensure they follow the criteria laid out by the FSC. You don’t wear wood? Check your garment labels as fabrics such as rayon, viscose, modal or lyocell and natural rubber are all wood-based.

Other standards to look out for.

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Textile Exchange Standards.

They have a whole suite of certified standards but, the primary two standards are:

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Recycle Claim Standard.

The standard verifies the claims of recycled content in products. Any fabric with this label attached will have been made with at least a raw recycles materiel content of 5% or more.    

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Global Recycle Standards.

This goes a step further than Recycle Claims Standard. It aims to increase the percentage of recycled material in products by setting a minimum of 20% of recycled materials are included in a fabric. There are also tests to reduce the harmful impact on people and the environment in the production of products. And to ensure they are produced more sustainably.

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Cradle to Cradle.

Any product with this label has been assessed for environmental and social performance. It covers five sustainability categories,: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. This is a very broad standard.

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EU Eco-Label.

They provide criteria for businesses to lower their environmental impact by encouraging practices for less waste and fewer carbon emissions. A product certified by them guarantees to be much more ethical than a product without the EU stamp.

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Fairtrade makes sure you know your product is ethical and improves the lives of people who make the products. Farmers and co-operatives are awarded long term contracts at a fair price. A price that at least covers the cost of sustainable farming and living. A small premium is added to allow investment in local social, environmental and farming improvements.