3 certifications to look out for when shopping sustainably

 

GOTS cotton (Global Organic Textile Standard)

How is cotton made?

As one of the most commonly used fabrics in the world, we all know what the end-product of cotton looks like. But how many of us actually know how cotton as we know it is made?

Cotton is crafted from the fluffy fibres that surround cotton seeds once they have matured. It is harvested before going through a process called ‘carding’, where the cotton fibres are formed into long strands. These are then spun to create yarn. It is at this point that the yarn is dyed, naturally, to add colour to the fibres which are then woven to become a particular type of textile;, be it a bedsheet, a t-shirt or a dress. Due to the high production demand of cotton, the risks of non-certified cotton-making processes can range from environmentally harmful pesticides used to accelerate growth, to toxic dyes that can be absorbed through the skin.

How do I know my cotton is sustainable?

The GOTS certification is the top standard in cotton-making. It ensures that 95% of the fibres used to create the garment are certified organic. The certification requires companies to meet strict social and environmental criteria which covers everything from considered energy and water consumption, to fair workers rights.

Shop GOTS cotton pieces:

'Durable' Organic Cotton Ribbed Shorts in Ecru

Noelle LTD
£45.00

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Isla Ruffle Dress

Anegada
£260.00

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FSC viscose (Forest Stewardship Council)

How is viscose made?

Viscose, or Rayon, is a plant-based fibre which provides an alternative to cotton or silk. It is made through a simple process of combining wood pulp from fast-regenerating trees such as pine or eucalyptus, with a chemical solution. This creates a pulp that is spun into fibres which can then be made into threads. Due to the ease and low cost of the process, viscose is often created at the expense of workers and the environment.

How do I know my viscose is sustainable?

The FSC is an organisation with the mission to make sure that forestry is carried out responsibly. The FSC certification ensures that the process through which the wood pulp is sourced is well regulated. This helps to preserve biological diversity and ensure that workers and local communities are appropriately supported.

 Shop FSC certified pieces:

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Chloe Jumper, made using a blend including FSC certified viscose

LAM Clothing
£170.00

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LOVE Jumper, made using a blend including FSC certified viscose

LAM Clothing

£155.00

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RWS (responsible wool standard)

How is wool made?

The first step in the wool-making process is to shear a sheep’s fleece in one piece which can weigh up to 8kgs. The wool is then washed, ridding the coat of natural oils from the sheep’s skin. This byproduct is often then used in skin care as a moisturiser. The natural oils can sometimes be left on the wool as, if knitted correctly, it can help a garment to have a water-resistant quality. After washing, the wool is carded - formed into long strands - and spun into yarn. Due to its absorbent nature, wool is incredibly easy to dye and this can be done at any point in the process. As with cotton, wool is always in incredibly high demand which puts pressure on the practices of sheep farmers.

How do I know my wool is sustainable?

The RWS is a tool that provides consumers with the confidence that the wool they are buying has been crafted in line with strict animal welfare and land management requirements.

Shop RWS certified pieces:

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Maddie Jumper, made using a blend including RWS certified extra fine merino wool

LAM Clothing
£165.00

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Grace Jumper, made using a blend including RWS certified extra fine merino wool

LAM Clothing
£180.00

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