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I am a bit confused on this one.  I know organic cotton is worth paying the premium for to avoid pesticides in growing etc and so is ‘greener’ for environment…but what about the dying?  So, for example, organic duvet covers?  unless they are unbleached natural cotton, is buying an organic cotton patterned duvet set any better *health* wise for the individual?  I am struggling to find info on this. How many washes of a conventionally dyed fabric (organic or otherwise) gets rid of teh nasties used in the dying process?  Or can’t you?
xx

Hi - I don’t know about duvet covers, but I sell brightly coloured GOTS certified organic clothing by Maxomorra and the information below was given on the strict GOTS certification rules for fibre production, so including dyeing (more detail on GOTS here http://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html). So if you buy GOTS certified organic cotton, it should be pretty stringently regulated, and as you can see, being organic isn’t just about the environmental impact, but social etc too ... hope that helps!

Another of my organic children’s underwear suppliers LIVING CRAFTS gave a simpler explanation (translated from German):

Dyeing

We dye out fabrics without heavy metals and formaldehydes. Our dyes are non-poisons and gentle on sensitive skin.

The dyes. We dye fabrics without heavy metals, weighting agents, complex agents, and formaldehyde pursuant to the guidelines of Naturland and the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry (IVN). Our dyes are toxicologically harmless.

The process. Our fabrics are dyed in a water-dye bath. Afterwards, the dyes are fixed.

The conditions. Our factories have their own waste water treatment plants. In order to dye fabrics, a certain temperature is necessary. The waste heat which is generated in the heating process is used in our factories to generate electricity. Our factories also use wind energy.


GOTS CERTIFICATION RULES:
The key criteria for fibre production can be identified as:

Organic certification of fibres on basis of recognised international or national standards (IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)
Certification of fibres from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming standard permits such certification
A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres

Processing and Manufacturing
Key criteria for processing and manufacturing include:

Environmental Criteria

At all stages through the processing organic fibre products must be separated from conventional fibre products and must to be clearly identified
All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meeting basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability
Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
Restrictions for accessories (e.g. no PVC, nickel or chrome permitted)
All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimise waste and discharges
Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and waste water treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The waste water from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional waste water treatment plant.
Packaging material must not contain PVC. Paper or cardboard used in packaging material, hang tags, swing tags etc. must be recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC
Technical Quality and Human Toxicity Criteria

Technical quality parameters must be met (s.a. rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)
Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues

Technical Quality and Human Toxicity Criteria

Technical quality parameters must be met (s.a. rubbing, perspiration, light and washing fastness and shrinkage values)
Raw materials, intermediates, final textile products as well as accessories must meet stringent limits regarding unwanted residues

Minimum Social Criteria

Minimum social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) must be met by all processors and manufacturers. They must have a social compliance management with defined elements in place to ensure that the social criteria can be met. For adequate implementation and assessment of the following social criteria topics the listed applicable key conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) have to be taken as the relevant basis for interpretation.

Employment is freely chosen

Working conditions are safe and hygienic

Child labour must not be used

Living wages

Working hours are not excessive

No discrimination is practised

Regular employment is provided

Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited

My website: http://www.uniandjack.co.uk ~ Uni and Jack ~ Rainbow bright unisex organic baby & children’s clothes  
Selling Living Crafts | Maxomorra | Engel | GEGGAMOJA | DUNS Sweden | Piccalilly | LGR organic clothes - cotton & merino ~ 10% off CROESO smile
Uni and Jack on FB ... Facebook Winter sale
jennywrenberry on Instagram

Thank you so much for going to the effort to post such a thorough reply, taht is a huge huge help
xx

You are welcome ... glad to be able to help smile

My website: http://www.uniandjack.co.uk ~ Uni and Jack ~ Rainbow bright unisex organic baby & children’s clothes  
Selling Living Crafts | Maxomorra | Engel | GEGGAMOJA | DUNS Sweden | Piccalilly | LGR organic clothes - cotton & merino ~ 10% off CROESO smile
Uni and Jack on FB ... Facebook Winter sale
jennywrenberry on Instagram

I really appreciate your thoughts concerning nature. Not everyone concerns themselves about nature. It is true that we use chemical dyes to bring out the colour in our clothes. Dyeing process itself causes too much damage to the environment since it has dirty water filled with chemicals and toxins as a byproduct. Even when if one is using organic clothing, it still damage the environment in small ways. There is a line of clothing called Ayurvastra, seen primarily in India, which is made of organic dyes. Ayurvastra is an ancient way of clothing which was practiced in India, especially Kerala. The dyes are a concoction of medicinal herbs. Since it only uses medicinal herbs, its non-toxic and chemical free. So one can say that its the most eco-friendly line of clothing. It is believed that these clothes has healing effect and are very effective for some diseases like Psoriases, blood pressure among others. Government has shown interest in reviving the craft and researches are undertaken to prove its healing effect.
There are several shops that produce ayurvedic clothes. Some provide online purchasing of their products.

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