100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
June 27, 2011 Jen Madsen of Stitch Simple emailed me this statement: ". . . we need, you know that 'dirty dozen' list for organic produce? How about a list of most environmentally friendly arts and crafts supplies or home décor items?"
I thought she was absolutely right! But how to rate, rank, educate and not overwhelm people is no easy task. Fabrics are so much more complex than fruits and vegetables. As the idea progressed, I contacted Leigh Anne of Oecotextiles. She has one of the most comprehensive and thorough blogs about textiles and the chemicals in them. She is my go-to for the chemistry and statistics so I asked if she would be willing to help. Thankfully, she agreed!
The three of us (Jen, Leigh Anne, and myself) knew that there was SOOOO much information that one infographic was not going to do. Our goal then became to put together a series and it was decided that we would start with BABY since that seems to be the most common entry point for people when it comes to organic fibers. I took a stab at the graphic, I redid it about 20 times. It stalled and stammered. My dear friend Suz enlisted her graphic design friend Alison who took a shot at revamping my sad attempt. It helped but also lost the entire fabric focus. We knew we lost our audience. Alison did the work pro bono and I thank her deeply for helping move the project forward in April of 2012 and highlighting where we went astray (focus!).
It stalled for months. I was sick of looking at it and frankly didn't know what to do. In September of 2012 I was contacted by Linsi of Spark Collaborative. We had a mutual friend Rachel Hulan who connected the dots. I bit the bullet and hired Spark Collaborative to take a shot at it. I sent them various versions, thoughts, and challenges. The name was changed from Worst Things/First Things to Textile Truths (duh!) and the layout started to pull together.
I sought help from Suz again (she is an editing wizard with decades of experience!), my friend Madge (a marketing maven and hiking tour leader extraordinaire), and a select few others (you know who you are!!). Changes: color changes, text changes, font changes, layout changes, pattern changes, alignment changes and more changes were made. Then I sent it to GOTS to make sure they would approve of the logo usage. Whew. It got their blessing and now . . . drum roll please . . .
IT IS OUT IN THE WORLD at last. Will it fill the need we aimed to address? Will anyone read it and care? Will it go viral and ignite different purchasing behavior? Launch a helpful series? Help all organic fabric companies to be better appreciated for what they are doing? Will it crawl under a rock never to be seen? I don't know. Time will tell. I can tell you that I am very grateful to have it no longer haunting my to-do list! I also want to acknowledge all of the kind, thoughtful people who helped in this journey. I LOVE YOU and COULDN'T HAVE FINISHED THIS WITHOUT YOU!
I VERY MUCH welcome your feedback (too late for changes to this version) and if all goes as hoped (and prayed for) we will be releasing other versions for: Home, Fashion, Pets, etc.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you think would be interested.
Buckets full of hugs and gratitude to each of you. It is my gift to the organic fiber community and the world. I hope you like it.
I am happy to introduce you to our latest experiment in organic cotton fabrics! The fiber is USA grown organic cotton, dyed at a GOTS-certified dye house in North Carolina. I met the owners of the dye house back in late 2011 when I was in the south for our GOTS inspection of our warehouse.
The owners were amazing! Thoughtful. Detail oriented. Caring. They gave me a tour of their facility and I was blown away. I have been to quite a few production facilities but none as clean and organized as this one.
I knew I wanted to work with them. Thankfully, that day has finally come. Our first collaboration is Torch Red - similar in color to our Scarlet sateen but slightly lighter and brighter. To quote Debbie at NearSea Naturals:
"We received the Torch Red Sateen and we..... LOVE IT! We compared it to a swatch of the scarlet and Laura and I actually like the torch red color much better. It is a brighter, more vibrant color. The sateen also looks more sophisticated and drapes nicely. I think this is going to become a fast favorite among the sateen fabrics we carry. You never can find a red like this, especially in a sateen."
In addition to NearSea Naturals, this fabric will also be available through Organic Cotton Plus, American Grown•Spun•Milled, and to businesses only through Stitch Simple. IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE: The only non-GOTS part of the entire process was the spinner. To the best of our knowledge there is no USA GOTS-certified spinner. (If you know of one, please contact me!) This means the fabric may still be labeled as organic but NOT GOTS certified.
We look forward to doing more dye runs with them. Unfortunately the widest they can dye is 80" so for wide-width fabrics we will be sticking to our GOTS certified facility in India.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.