All you need to know about Organic clothing and Sustainable fashion!
In the current world where sustainability has been hailed as a norm, every fashion brand is pledging to source organic raw materials to grow eco-friendlier. You might have come across even fashion icons and celebrities like Emma Watson, Olivia Wilde, Pharrell Williams, Jessica Alba, Alia Bhat and Anushka Sharma talking about #FashionForACause. Speaking of sustainability and organic, what is this fuss all about? What does organic clothing mean anyway?
Let’s break it down and analyze it step by step, Organic cotton fabric is a specific type made from certified agricultural standard procedures. The protocol of how the cotton is grown without the interference of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is that stands it out. It utilizes 71% lesser water and 62% lesser energy. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides. Akin to organic cotton, there are other organic fibers including organic linen, hemp, bamboo and more. Although this answers what is organic cotton fabric, it just doesn’t end there at cotton alone.
For instance, organically grown Hemp is one of the most interesting fabric. Since time immemorial, this has been used for making ropes, fabrics, dog collars and many more consumer goods. These textile crops are not only sustainable innately as a fiber, but also create a lesser impact on the environment surrounding. Studies communicate that the local water and soil health in the biodiversity take relatively lesser negative impact when the crop is organically grown.
Barring Hemp fabric, organic bamboo, linen fabrics are also ancient in terms of fiber usage. In fact, linen is the most sustainable textile that is known to man. Coming to the numbers of it, globally, only less than 1% of linen is organically grown. Of which, 75% of the linen yarn spinning takes place in China. Predominantly, Indian organic fiber manufacturers import organic yarns from China and get them spun and woven/ knit. Moreover, according to field researches, linen requires far few chemical inputs as compared to cotton accompanied by little or almost no water irrigation.
As an alternative to linen, bamboo fabric has also got a luxurious feel and a drapey effect. As a matter of fact, bamboo grows organically without the influence of chemical pesticides, meaning they are naturally resistant to diseases and pests. Now that it has gained global popularity as green fiber, bamboo fabrics have secured a significant place in the world of fashion. Historically, it was used for making structural elements like ribs of corsets, home furnishing produces, etc. But, lately, bamboo has a large role to play in the apparel fashion industry. Its sheen and softness make it suitable for accessories like scarves and socks.
When it comes to the production of the organic fabrics, don’t get surprised when we tell you that there are organic fabric manufacturers in India. They are located in Goa, Tirupur, Delhi, etc and are capable of supplying organic fabrics in bulk quantities. Tirupur also is a strong hub for natural dyes. Natural dyes fabrics bases are mostly made from Lac, Manjusta, SapanWood, Madder roots and many other organic sources. Under the umbrella of sustainability in fashion, natural dyes and organics together form a very significant drop.
The history of how the vegetable dyestuff is prepared dates back to the Neolithic period when the early man was curious. Until civilisation could happen, synthetic dyes were not commercialized. The reds and browns of natural dye colours are from madder and catechu powder, yellow from pomegranate peel, hues of indigo from Indigofera leaves and what not. Each story of natural dye preparation is beautiful and intense in its own way.
Indigo, one of the most traditional, atavistic dyes mankind has experimented, dates back to 6000 years back. Many ancient civilisations like Mesopotamia, Peru, Africa have known and practiced indigo hank dyeing. Even in India, many of the Madras checks were hand dyed with vegetable dyestuff during the early 19th century. The 1960s bleeding Madras was popularised by large brands like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. The dyes that were not very colorfast were used, and the look that transpired was very characteristic and personality like each time it was laundered. The dye fading effect was adorned to the extent, that a guarantee for fading would be marketed to customers in California at the time.
The aesthetic look the natural dyes give to the fabrics is very sober and soothing. Not only are the natural dyes eco-friendly but also they have added effects of good medicinal value. They contain anti-microbial and anti-bacterial components.
Dye preparation methods not only involve plant sources like berries, bark, and leaves but also fungi other biological sources like fungi and lichens. Dye powder from plants was more commercial and viable for trading, whereas natural invertebrate dyes like the crimson kermes and Tyrian purple were very lucrative in the ancient, medieval world.
Geographically, the primary cultivation of trees like sapan wood, madder happens in the south Indian states and West Bengal. The morinda dye is obtained from bark and root of Morinda Citrifolia which is majorly found in places like AP, Orissa, and Gujarat.
So while organic is rising to its vista in terms of healthy crop farming, natural dyes are sustainable by its nature/technique of dyeing. Conclusively, both of these organic fabrics and natural dyed fabrics help to reduce the carbon footprint on the environment.
Fabric Monde co-works with brands in conceptualizing a separate line of a sustainable capsule collection that can go into their premium range of garments. Doing this involves offering a strong value proposition on a whole horizon of services relating to Marketing and Operations to the brands. Principally, for product categories like organics and natural dyes, the storytelling and marketing are made strong so that the client is clearly informed as to what he has been offered.
Hope this was a useful summary on the organic fabrics and we have covered basic questions like What is organic cotton fabric, How is organic cotton different from regular textiles, How are organic fabrics eco-friendly and How organic fabrics are sustainable to the society. If you have any more questions like where can I buy organic fabrics from or find wholesale organic suppliers in India or find organic cotton manufacturers in India, Fabric Monde can help you with that since we have India’s largest fabric collection at one place by aggregating all the fabric suppliers across India from 20+ states.