Unlike, food and personal care products, there aren't any 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 variety of processes in order to create textiles, or materials, that'll be used to make clothes.
A wide variety of harsh chemicals are employed to weave, clean, dye and finish materials. This makes it difficult to deem clothing organic whether or not the original fibers were in fact from organic sources. However, many organizations worldwide and in Spokane are now attempting to create global standards for what may be labeled organic clothing.
OTA Organic Clothing Standards in Spokane & the U.S.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in america has made great strides in establishing 4 levels for organic clothing labeling.
100% Organic – all materials used are grown organically, including the threads. All processes used conform to the OTA standards.
Organic – A minimum of 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 in materials are basically the only thing that is currently certified organic in clothing. Organic clothing comes in a variety of materials. Just how many materials may surprise people. Listed below are examples of materials that can be organically harvested to create organic clothing.
Where to Find Organic Clothing in Spokane, WA
Luckily, organic clothing has become popular in Spokane lately and the availability has improved greatly. Now, you'll 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 around the globe. There are a number of websites that sell organic clothing and cover trends within the organic clothing industry.
Farmers markets in Spokane – 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.
Spokane retail stores – Organic clothing is now so popular in Spokane that even major chains like Wal-Mart are selling affordable options. Other stores that typically sell organic clothes include Target, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Bloomingdales and others.
Check the labels to be sure the garment really is organic and to what degree. It may also help to research manufacturers to learn about the processes they use to make their organic clothing, because as you now know there's much more to think about than the fabric.