Organic Clothing in California

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Organic Clothing Standards, Retailers, Stores & More in CA

Unlike, food and personal care products, there are no U.S. or global standards for organic textiles. Although natural fibers that come from animals and plants can be certified ‘organic’ by the USDA, those fibers undergo a number of processes in order to create textiles, or materials, that will be used to make clothes.  

A variety of harsh chemicals are employed to weave, clean, dye and finish materials. This will make it difficult to deem clothing organic whether or not the original fibers were in fact from organic sources. However, many organizations worldwide and in California are now working to create global standards for what may be labeled organic clothing.

OTA Organic Clothing Standards in California & the U.S.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in the United States has made great strides in establishing 4 levels for organic clothing labeling.

100% Organic – all materials used are grown organically, even the threads. All processes used conform to the OTA standards.

Organic – No less than 95% organically grown fibers used and all processes follow the OTA standards.

Made with Organic (specific fiber products) – At least 70% of the fibers used were organically grown.

Less 70% Organically Produced - The garment may or may not have some organic fiber content. May be manufactured using processes that don’t keep to the OTA standards.

Organic Clothing Materials

The fibers used for materials are basically the only thing that is currently certified organic in clothing. Organic clothing comes in a number of materials. Just how many materials may surprise people. Listed below are examples of materials that may be organically harvested to create organic clothing.

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp
  • Silk
  • Wool
  • Cashmere
  • Linen

Where to Find Organic Clothing in California

Luckily, organic clothing has become more popular in California lately and the availability has improved greatly. Now, you can find organic clothing almost anywhere in the U.S.

Online – The web is probably your best resource for finding organic clothing providers, both locally and anywhere in the world. There are numerous of websites that sell organic clothing and cover trends within the organic clothing industry.

Farmers markets in California – Farmers markets aren’t just for people looking for organic foods. There are also eco-friendly products that support sustainability. Bonus: you’ll be supporting your local economy.

California retail stores – Organic clothing is now so popular in California that even major chains like Wal-Mart are selling affordable options. Other retail stores that typically sell organic clothes include Target, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Bloomingdales and others.

 

Check the labels to ensure the garment really is organic and to what degree. It also helps to research manufacturers to learn about the processes they choose to make their organic clothing, because as you now know there's much more to take into account than the fabric.