Are your fabrics certified?
Certification is not straight forward to explain. I will have go but would encourage you to do your own research.....
We ourselves are not certified by GOTS or FTF (Fairtrade foundation).
We are quite small and the way we work makes it impossible to work with large organisations like GOTS who naturally have large overheads and fees to cover the great work they do. So for example if we wanted GOTS certification for our work in Kerala, they would have to send someone to inspect each of the powerloom workers that Genesh works with. They would need a paper trail for the yarn from source to weaver to dying to weaving to shipping and they would also need to audit our work in the UK. This is exactly what they need to do, but not feasible for us when we are working with two hundred different fabrics made by many different weavers.
All the organic cotton yarn we use in Kerala has certification.
Mill fabric is different. The cotton weaving mills we work with are all inspected and certified by GOTS. When we receive fabrics from mills, we always ask for a certificate. We can supply you with a copy. This does not mean that we are certified, it does not mean that you can claim GOTS certification.
If you are making garments, you can of course say that the fabric is made from certified Organic Cotton or that it is made in a certified mill and you will have the copy certificates to show that.
If you want to be GOTS certified then you would need to register with GOTS and you would have to buy direct from a weaver who is also certified by GOTS so that the GOTS chain is unbroken.
This requires working large scale.
Our basic muslin fabric is also Soil Association certified. Soil Association is a UK body allied to GOTS.
Bamboo silk is from yarn that is Oeko-tex certified and produced in a closed loop system.
Tencel is also ethically produced under licence and is Oeko-tex certified.
Please ask if you would like to see current certificates - we really don't mind and believe that we should all be aware of the possibility that people may jump on the 'organic' bandwagon without being true to its ideals.
This is a fifteen minute film about GOTS. https://www.global-standard.org/information-centre/gotsfilm.html
This is from our Turkish manufacturing unit.
The origin of cotton is Aegean region of Turkey (Near İzmir). We always obtain our own cotton from contracted farmers. Our spinning house is in Denizli. Depending on the quality or lead times we may use diffirent knitting and dying houses placed in Denizli,İzmir or İstanbul. All facilities have to certificated otherwise it is not possible to give GOTS certificate to the final items (fabric or clothes)
All of the facilities (Farms,Spinning,Knitting or even warehouse where the finished fabrics are controlled and packed) have to carry the responsibilities that certification requires. The certification is made by non-profit certification companies like ICEA or Control union.
We look at every aspect of our business and try to make it environmental sound and fair. We ship fabrics, we only use certified cotton, we use carboard packaging when we can. We recycle our cardboard and our wrapping. We don't get it right all the time, but we do try. We try and pay fair wages though we struggle with the word 'fair'. We don't screw down to get the lowest price from our weavers and we don't charge 'designer prices'
We 'live' on an eco park with 110 solar panels. We use cardboard packaging for our small parcels.
We reuse existing packaging where possible.
Our premises are in a highly insulated unit on Dyfi Eco Park and the park was an early adopter (18years ogo) of solar panels which we have on our roof.
We do not use polyester based fabric.
All the cotton we use is 100% organic. All cotton yarn is certified by GOTS at source.
Our standards are high, we dont aim to make cheap or low quality fabric, but we do not generally inspect fabric in the UK. We trust our partners in India, and Turkey to do that. If you have a problem, then we are there to help and will always do our best to assist
We do not rubtest our fabrics, we do not test them for shrinkage. You must inspect and test fabric before you use it.
We will not compensate you for using a fabric that you later find was not suitable. We have constant deliveries. Batches vary.... check your sample and check your batch. If we send to your manufacturer, do you want a sample sending to you?? ASK.
also..... Handmade fabrics in general are variable in nature. Check and double check.
Fair trade policy
We exist to trade fairly. Ethics is our back bone and we try to be transparent in the way we trade. 'Fair' is open to interpretation. We only use GOTS certified mills. This means that checks are made to ensure safe working practices etc. We do not beat our partners to the lowest price, we look to find a price that will leave us both happy. We don't charge you the customer the highest price that we can - we try to offer a price that is fair to individual sewers and a lower price to those customers looking to start a business and investing in stock. We do not seek to make the highest profit possible. We seek to be happy and part of that is trading fairly.
We are not certified 'Fairtrade' . (One word capital F) 'Fairtrade' is a registered trade mark