100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
When I launched Harmony Art Organic Design in January 2005, I was looking to create a business (really a job) for myself in my field (textile design) that I could feel good about. Reality was that in 2005 there were no fabric companies making organic cotton prints. Oh sure, there were a few pioneering companies like Patagonia and Green Babies that were making clothing using organic cotton printed fabrics but unless you were big enough to do your own production runs (1,000 + yards), you had no selection. This left small businesses and home sewers virtually without any organic fabric options beyond beige, oatmeal or granola. It also left this textile designer with next to no job opportunities beyond the toxic traditional ones.
In 2005, there were over 40 eco-textile standards to choose from. (Talk about confusing!) The OTA was writing their own Fiber Processing Standard and since then have worked collaboratively to develop the Global Organic Textile Standard or GOTS. Just last month the USDA's NOP program acknowledged and ok'd the use of GOTS for textiles labelled as organic. (THIS IS BIG NEWS!)
What started as a quest for a job I could feel proud of, became a vision/mission to change the way textiles were produced. I wanted to help move the textile business from being one of THE MOST TOXIC industries to one of the most thoughtful. To that end, I would need many more companies to embrace organics!
Six and 1/2 years later... I am proud and honored and encouraged to report that indeed the textile industry has caught on! No longer alone, many independent organic fabric companies (Mod Green Pod, Oliveira Textiles, Cloud9, Daisy Janie, Birch Fabrics, etc) have started and with this spring's Quilt Market even the biggest names in quilting fabrics have joined the organic fabric team. Large fabric companies like Rowan, Clothworks, Robert Kaufman, and Michael Miller have released printed organics. Even the amazing and oh-so-popular and lovely Amy Butler has released an organic cotton collection. Quilt Market's latest trend report highlighted organic fabric's proliferation. Over the years, I have spoken directly or indirectly to just about every one of these companies and designers. I've watched it all and personally participated in much of it.
It is safe to say that organic fabric is no longer just shades of oatmeal and granola! Although still a small fraction of the conventional cotton being produced, organic fabrics are no longer fringe. They are a force (much bigger than me) to be reckoned with. It's been an honor and a privilege to be a part of this movement. It's been exciting and thrilling to watch it grow and expand. Thank you to each and every one of you who has understood, purchased, supported, encouraged, challenged and embraced this journey. Without a doubt it has been the people along the way that have made this movement happen. I am just one small part. I think collectively we have much to be proud of.
What do you think? Is the mission accomplished? Is it time for a new goal? I'd love to get your perspective either through this blog publicly or privately by phone or email. I look forward to your feedback.
With sincere gratitude,
We returned from our road trip to LA to find a complimentary copy of this book had been delivered. Why the excitement?
There it was on page 9.... our organic cotton interlock print: Alphabet Soup.
Thank you Meg McElwee for choosing to use one of our organic knits in your book! It is always thrilling to be featured in books, blogs, articles, newspapers, etc. We have been very fortunate over the years to have been featured many places but there is something that makes it even sweeter when the organic content is a footnote rather than lead story.
To learn more or to purchase your own copy of Growing Up Sew Liberated just click.
Thank you Elisabeth Malzahn & Elaine Lipson from Interweave Press. Thank you Jen Madsen for bring this to my attention.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.