How choosing organic can help maintain precious ecosystems and turn the tide of the outdoor industry’s environmental impact.
The outdoor industry is constantly producing new clothing to keep up with the changing trends each season. This process relies heavily on farming and agriculture, often involving the use of pesticides to increase efficiency. Awareness of this issue is increasing among the public, and this in turn is helping to drive the movement towards more organic manufacturing practices.
Organically produced products are much kinder to the environment. Choosing them can help to maintain ecosystems by reducing the need for pesticides and removing toxic substances from the supply chain. Consumers can recognise products that contain organic materials by looking out for certifications. We can also choose brands that promote regenerative farming practices.
The Organic Content Standard
Cotton is one of the most common materials used to create clothing. Sadly, the farming of cotton uses a large volume of water, harmful pesticides and is generally considered an unsustainable method. The Organic Content Standard (OCS) was created as a tool for the industry to easily recognise organically grown content, providing trust for companies and customers. This certification is maintained throughout the supply chain, from the farm to the final product. The OCS aims to increase the amount of organic cotton in clothing and encourages companies to purchase organically grown cotton. Products containing cotton that comes from a certified organic farm can bare the OCS certification.
Global Organic Textile Standard
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) pairs the textile industry with organic agriculture. The GOTS certification is a strict quality assurance system that spans the entire supply chain, from farms to trading. It looks at reduced chemical input, water saving and social benefits. To meet the Global Organic Textile Standard, a product must feature a minimum of 70% organic fibres. This means when you see a GOTS certificate the majority of the garment is organic.
Bluesign certification is awarded to textile consumer products that use responsive and sustainable manufacturing practices. It does this by analysing the sustainability of the product throughout the whole manufacturing cycle, resulting in a traceable product with reduced water, chemicals, and carbon emissions. Bluesign isn’t just an observer of the supply chain. It provides solutions and knowledge to support and guide the industry down a more sustainable path.
Traditional farming methods can be extremely damaging to the soil, limiting our ability to grow healthy crops and contributing to the loss of topsoil and water. To tackle this, regenerative agriculture uses more sustainable methods for harvesting plants, such as reduced use of chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers. This method of farming also uses “No-till” harvesting methods such as crop cover, crop rotations and cover crops to build organic fertile content. This can in turn trap more carbon in the soil, helping to fight climate change. One brand that champions regenerative farming is Patagonia, who we are delighted to stock on our site.
An Organic Future
By choosing certified organic products, you are supporting brands that are investing in more sustainable manufacturing. Your purchasing habits will also help to incentivise brands to invest and expand their organic offering to consumers.
You’ll find plenty of organic products in our Sustainable Gear collection. Want to read more on sustainability? Check out our other blogs here.