Sustainability Standards 6 Reasons why we use Organic Cotton

WORDS Faye Lessler

WORDS Sasha Patil

Our mission at Grammar is to create clothing to help women feel comfortable and elegant in their own skin, to allow your inner beauty to shine through. Wearing a Grammar shirt feels luxurious because we always adhere to the highest standards of design, quality, and sustainability.

When conceptualizing and building Grammar, one of our first steps was finding the ultimate textile for our perfect white shirts.

We use the same fabric for every shirt, so finding the right textile producer was a major decision for our brand. In addition to our strict design requirements, it was essential that our fabric be 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton. Sustainability is part of our foundation; we choose organic cotton because it promotes the health of our customers, the people who make our clothing, and our planet. We searched the world for the organic cotton fabric we use; we outline six reasons why we chose this fabric and why organic cotton is so important to us.






1. Organic cotton production does not use pesticides or toxins.We choose organic cotton so that you can be sure that your shirts are not toxic to yourself or to those who had a hand in making it. Organic cotton plants are grown without the use of pesticides or GMO seeds.

Conventional cotton is the most pesticide reliant crop in the world, responsible for over 11% of global pesticide use each year1. Unfortunately, all of those chemicals run off the fields and into surrounding waterways and natural habitats, harming the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. Growing organic cotton instead means that soil, groundwater, and animal life are protected from chemical contamination. While the creation of organic cotton is more labor intensive, the benefits make the choice worthwhile. We believe in tacking challenges that are difficult but worthy.

The process of turning the raw fiber into organic cotton fabric (i.e. ginning, spinning, weaving, and finishing) is done without the use of toxic chemicals that harm the environment and human health. Most textiles contain toxins that can be absorbed through the skin to cause illness among textile workers and customers. Organic fabric is never bleached with chlorine or treated with formaldehyde (a compound banned in the EU as an endocrine disruptor that is often used to create wrinkle-resistant properties on shirting2).















Organic Cotton

We use GOTS-certified cotton for our Grammar shirts to ensure our high sustainability standards. Image found from www.publicdomainpictures.net

2. Organic cotton production requires less energy and water.

Worried about your footprint? Organic cotton has a much lower impact on the environment conventional cotton.

Cotton’s soft, breathable, and versatile properties make it perfect for many different types of garments, however the amount of energy and water the crop requires cannot be sustained during these times of depleted resources and climate change. Conventional cotton production requires huge amounts of water and energy; Just one t-shirt requires up to 2700 liters of water3 when produced with conventional cotton. Organic cotton, by contrast, requires 71% less water and 62% less energy4 to make the same t-shirt, making it a much more eco-friendly option. When you choose organic, you are decreasing your water and energy consumption.















Minimizing Environmental Impact

We kept sustainability in mind through each step of the design process. It all started with sourcing the perfect fabric.

3. India produces most of the world’s organic cotton.

Wondering why we use fabric produced in India? As it turns out, Indians are experts at organic cotton production.

Unfortunately, there is no long-staple organic cotton grown in the US. No capability to produce fine wovens. Only 0.7% of global cotton production is certified organic but 70% of organic cotton is made in India5. That is where we found the perfect fabric for our shirts. Our fabric is high quality, tightly woven, opaque, and organically made. In order to minimize transportation emissions, everything from fiber to fabric is produced within close proximity in India. Producing in India allows us to reduce our footprint tremendously.















Producing in India

India produces most of the world's organic cotton. The textile we use is made in India and uses minimal energy and water during production.

4. GOTS certification ensures sustainable and ethical textile production.

What is GOTS, you ask?

GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard6) is a globally-recognized and trusted certification that ensures adherence to the highest environmental and social standards throughout the manufacturing process. Each stage is inspected and verified by an independent third-party certifier to ensure that verification is unbiased.

With GOTS certification you can be confident that our fabric meets the highest ecological standards through the entire textile supply chain, and that each person involved in the production of our fabric works under safe and humane working conditions and earns a fair and living wage.















GOTS Certified

Image used from the GOTS website

5. Workers Rights

The textile industry is notorious for treating employees unfairly. In the 1950s, the United States started enforcing laws to protect factory workers. To cut costs, companies started outsourcing the work to nations that did not require fair treatment and wages for employees. Many textile workers throughout the world do not earn a fair wage and work long hours without rest in factories that are unsafe under brutal working conditions.

GOTS certification enforces a variety of rules to protect textile workers, including freely-chosen labor, safe and clean working conditions, no child labor, living wages, proper rest time, no excessive hours, and humane treatment. These social criteria have to be followed by every manufacturer in the process of creating GOTS-certified textiles. As a sign of respect for our customers, and our business, we work hard to ensure we respect everyone we touch in the process of creating your shirts.















Supporting the Global Community

GOTS- certified textiles require that every person involved in production earns a living wage.

6. 100% organic cotton is biodegradable and recyclable.

We consider the end of life when we design. We create our shirts to be timeless and long lasting, but it is inevitable that some will be discarded eventually. When you discard a piece of clothing, more often than not it ends up in a landfill or the ocean with toxic chemicals and microfibers. The discarded clothing pollutes the soil, air, and water in the surrounding areas. Many clothing items do not biodegrade, but instead pollute...

Not to worry, your Grammar shirt is biodegradable and recyclable. Even though our shirts are made to last generations, if your shirt is ever discarded it will not pollute the environment. You can also recycle your 100% organic cotton shirt to create new textiles and other products7 .It is best to donate your shirts; anything that does not sell will be recycled and made into another beautiful garment.










In conclusion, we went through a rigorous process to find the absolute best fabric for our shirts. When you put on a Grammar shirt you can feel confident that you look amazing, and that you are having a positive impact on the environment and global community. The fabric we use is safe for the environment and to the people that come into contact with our shirts, including you.

Sources
1www.scu.edu

2 Tara Siegel Bernard. "When Wrinkle-Free Clothing Also Means Formaldehyde Fumes", New York Times.

3 "The Impact of a Cotton T-Shirt", World Wild Life.

4 www.aboutorganiccotton.org

5 Organic Trade Association

6 Global Organic Textile Standard

7 Global Organic Textile Standard

Protecting our Planet

When we designed the Grammar production process we wanted to keep the end of the product lifecycle in mind. The textile we use is recyclable and biodegradable.

Looking good and feeling good

When you put on a Grammar shirt you can feel confident that you look amazing, and that you are having a positive impact on the environment and global community.

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