100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
Working with China? YES!
When I attended my first All Things Organic conference and trade show back in 2004, I rode the bus back to our hotel with a buyer from China. We got to talking, he owned a natural foods store in China. I asked him why he came all the way to Chicago to source products for his store. Couldn't you get anything you needed in China? I have never forgotten his response: "They'll lie to you and tell you it is organic but it isn't." Oh my. That answer from a Chinese man about his own country's organics convinced me to steer clear of Chinese produced organic fabrics.
I have been approached by many "organic" fabric producers from overseas in the last 6 years. It only takes 2 questions: "What is your organic cotton fabric certified to?" and "Who is your certifier?" If they can't answer those basic questions I know they are clueless at best and potential frauds at worst.
Then I met Laurie and Tony from Sapphire International Ltd.. (Our meeting was one of those incredible small world experiences -- too long to go into here -- but if you are interested post a comment and I will post that story later.) As we ate lunch at the Timber Cove Inn there was an instant connection. Not only were they also members of the OTA, they knew about GOTS. They had been to the same Organic Exchange (now the Textile Exchange) conference I had. These were not phonies. They knew their stuff. We commiserated and collaborated, brainstormed and shared stories. They showed me videos of their weaving facility (in China) and explained the process.
When they asked me to create an Australian animal theme towel collection for their Breganwood label of course I said YES. Now, I must admit, I am a print designer by trade....NOT a woven designer so this was uncharted territory for me. Add to the complexity that they were experimenting with a NEW 4 color Jacquard weaving technique and it was an uphill battle getting the design figured out. The learning curve on this project was exceptionally steep but many emails and skype conversations later.... you can see the finished product above and below. I think we both learned a lot.
From the moment we met, I was impressed with Laurie and Tony. I am confident in their ethics and their commitment to true organic production. Yep, an Australian themed organic towel, designed in California and woven in China. It's true, textiles are indeed a global industry and there are good, honest, thoughtful people EVERYWHERE!
For your chance to win one of these cozy towels, just "like" Breganwood on facebook and then leave a comment on which Jacquard towel is your favorite before Sept. 30th. They will also have a booth at the upcoming ABC show in KY (booth 4402). Feel free to stop by and tell them hello if you are attending the show.
9/8/2011 03:21:30 pm
The blue koala bath wrap .. love it! :-)
9/12/2011 10:59:06 am
Thanks for sharing your experience with Laurie and Tony. Can you give us the rest of the story as to how you three met ?
Those towels are adorable!GREAT JOB!I agree...there are in fact honest reputable people everywhere.I order fabric from a company whose textiles are produced in China and they have a great relationship with the village and workers.The owner spends a lot of time there making sure all standards are being met.I am thankful for people like your new friends because we need to whole industry to change worldwide.I look forward to a day when all textiles are grown and produced in an organic way.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.