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    World friendly organic and Eko-tex certified childrens' clothing

    OEKO-TEX Standard 100, another pretty label in baby and kids clothing - a simple explanation

    OEKO-TEX Standard 100, another pretty label in baby and kids clothing - a simple explanation

    In my previous blog post we established that GOTS means organic. It means that we are protecting our children from harmful chemicals, but also our globe and other people in it, by responsible farming and by doing the right thing by the people who do the work. 

    But now we have found another pretty label in our kids clothes. What is OEKO-TEX Standard100? Does that mean organic too? Does OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label in my child's clothing mean that I won't be exposing their sensitive skin to pesticides, fertilizers, harmful dyes or other chemicals? Let's have a closer look.

    In the early 1990s there was a growing concern about poisonous chemicals used in textile manufacturing and the general public started demanding textiles that are not harmful to health. To me this sounds outrageous, that there would have been formaldehyde, cancer causing azo dyes and allergenic dyes in babies clothes, but there was. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 was born and now these chemicals have become very strictly regulated and some are altogether banned.

    But OEKO-TEX 100 takes things a bit further than just what's in the law. It is an independent testing and certification system for textiles, that is recognised globally. And the criteria includes:

    • Illegal substances such as carcinogenic colourants
    • Legally regulated substances such as formaldehyde, plasticizers, heavy metals or pentachlorophenol
    • Substances which according to current knowledge are harmful to health, but which are not yet regulated or prohibited by law such as pesticides, allergenic dyes or tin-organic compounds
    • Parameters such as colour fastness and a skin-friendly pH-value, which are precautionary measures to safeguard consumer health

    There are different sub classes to the testing according to the use of the end product.The more intensive the skin contact of a product, the stricter the human ecological requirements to be met are. 

    The four product classes are:

    • Product class I:
      Textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years (clothing, toys, bed linen, terry cloth items etc.)
    • Product class II:
      Textiles used close to the skin (underwear, bed linen, T-shirts etc.)
    • Product class III:
      Textiles used away from the skin (jackets, coats etc.)
    • Product class IV:
      Furnishing materials (curtains, table cloths, upholstery materials etc.)

    The testing takes place in accredited labs in Europe and Japan. It applies to the end product, including all the components of it, such as the fabric, buttons, sewing thread, zippers etc.

    It does not necessarily mean, that the natural fibres used in the tested clothing were organically grown or look into the different stages of the production. And synthetic textiles can be certified too. 

    So the simple answer to our question - Does OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label in my child's clothing mean that I won't be exposing their sensitive skin to pesticides, fertilizers, harmful dyes or other chemicals? is: YES, it does. It is the main purpose of the label.

    And while OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label does not necessarily mean that the clothing is organic, it does mean that less chemicals have been used and that is certainly better for us and our globe.

     

    GOTS - Global Organic Textile Standard in kids clothing manufacturing - a simple explanation

    I often mention that nearly all of our clothing range is organic. So, why is that important and what does it mean?

    The obvious reason is that we don't want to have pesticides and other nasties in contact with our babies' or kids' sensitive skins. And of course we want to leave a clean world for our children. For this ecological reason we use organic natural fibres such as cotton. 

    But as always when you ask one question, more will follow. What happens to the carefully grown organic cotton? What needs to be done to make the naturally brownish fibres into a beautifully coloured fabric? What do you use to bleach it? What chemicals do you dye it with? 

    What then needs to happen to the fabric with gorgeous fun patterns before we have a piece of kids clothing that can be worn? Who does the cutting and the sewing? Where are the factories? How is the cute baby suit now packaged, labelled and transported? Now we have come to the other aspect of GOTS certification, our social responsibility to all the people in the world. We certainly don't want to wear clothes made by children or by anybody not properly paid for their work.

    So it gets a little complicated, and I for one, am grateful that I don't have to ask all these questions every time I buy organic clothing for my children.

    For that we have GOTS! Global Organic Textile Standard.

    GOTS has its own website, so you can really get into it, but basically the manufacturers have to prove that their clothes fully represent ecologically and socially responsible manufacturing. And voila' they get to put a label onto their end product.

    There are two different labels - ORGANIC and MADE WITH X% ORGANIC

    Label grade 1 - ORGANIC requires that the garment is at least 95% organic + maximum of 5% non-organic natural or synthetic fibres.

    Label grade 2 - MADE WITH ORGANIC requires that the garment is at least 70% certified organic fibres + maximum of 30% non organic fibres BUT maximum of 10% synthetic fibres (respective 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear)

    It's not easy to get the GOTS label, nor should it be! And once a manufacturer gets it, they need to keep the standards up not to lose it.

    When you shop at Kids Love Rainbow Colours, you can find the GOTS label displayed in the product description of all the pieces of clothing that have been GOTS certified. And you know that all the questions have been asked and answered as they should have been.

    Global Organic Textile Standard logo