As we live in a world where our environmental impact is becoming more apparent, many of us are becoming much more considered in how we shop and the garments we choose to wear. Here at Free Spirit we often get asked many questions about our production methods, so here we want to share with you our Top 5 Q & As!
All our tanks, t-shirts and sweaters are made by skilled workers in South India in factories we visit on a regular basis, to ensure both high quality and fair standards. Our factories are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Fibre) certified and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX certified, ensuring no toxic dyes or chemicals are used. We monitor every process, right from the raw cotton being spun into yarn, made into fabric, dyed, washed, printed cut and sewn. All these processes happen within the same town which not only cuts down production time but also our carbon footprint.
It is not uncommon in the fashion industry for yarn or fabric to be shipped from one country to another for each process, often to take advantage of labour, skills or machinery elsewhere.
If a retailer is claiming their product is made from “Australian Cotton”, check also where that garment is manufactured. Often that means they have shipped the raw cotton to China to be manufactured and then shipped back in garment form.
Others may be using Italian fabric, but is the garment made in Italy? Often the fabric has been shipped from Italy to China to be printed and then sometimes even onto a third country (Bali for example) to be made, before being shipped to the country they are being sold in – this has a huge impact on the environment! That is why we are passionate about manufacturing start to finish in one place.
Regular cotton farming starts with genetically modified seeds, and is grown on the same soil over and over again, degrading soil quality, removing nutrients and leading to unhealthy crops. Since these crops require more water, they are irrigated heavily, resulting in water wastage.
However, Organic cotton is made from natural seeds, and there is no use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals, making them safer for the skin. Crops are rotated from one soil to another and the nutrients retain water for longer, requiring less irrigation and using much less water.
Processing of regular cotton uses a large amount of chemicals. Even after washing the finished products, the residue of these chemicals remains and can cause serious skin allergies.
Several people suffer from skin problems like eczema because of regular cotton products. Organic cotton uses safer alternatives to chemical dyes and whiteners.
Natural or water-based dyes, peroxide for whitening, and other safer products are used to manufacture the finished goods.
Bamboo fabric is similar to the softness of silk. Since the fibres are without chemical treatment, they are naturally smoother and rounder, making bamboo fabric hypoallergenic and perfect for those who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibres such as wool or hemp.
Bamboo is also antibacterial and antifungal. This allows it to naturally flourish and grow in the wild without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. This beneficial quality of the plant remains in its textile form, killing all bacteria keeping the wearer feeling fresher and odour free for longer, making the garment healthier and more hygienic.
The impact of plastic in our oceans is of upmost concern to us. Transporting any type of garment does require some kind of durable packaging that can protect it from damage and moisture, however we do ensure that all our garments are wrapped in a biodegradable packaging that we re-use & recycle whenever possible.
All our swing tags are also made from recycled fibres – we actually use the off cuts of the t-shirt fabric to make them!
Organic Cotton & Bamboo are both durable fabrics so are absolutely fine to be machine washed. We always recommend to put on a cool cycle (30 degrees or below) to help both the environment and to keep the print looking nice! We are not fans of the tumble dryer for anything and we certainly do not recommend it on our garments. Always line dry for a fresh, soft and lasting finish!
Shop Now - Organic Cotton & Bamboo!
See our full range of Organic Cotton & Bamboo tanks and tees here