A few years ago, Tutti Frutti Clothing made the switch to using only organic cotton fabrics.
It was a big change, but one that I am passionate was the right thing to do.
Previously, like many other brands, I used baby safe oeko tex certified fabric.
Of course, using a fabric certified 'baby and child safe' is better that using one that isn't but oeko tex fabrics are NOT organic, nor are they a match for organic fabrics.
In this blog post I am look briefly at oeko tex certifed fabric and the standards it meets. Then I'll show you why organic cotton is much better - and why Tutti Frutti made the switch.
Tutti Frutti Organic Shorts and T-Shirt from the Summer Collection
What is Organic Cotton Fabric?
Organic cotton fabric is fabric that uses organically grown cotton.
Organic cotton is grown using agricultural practices that not only protect the environment but also strive to improve it. There are no hazardous chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers used in the farming of organic cotton.
“Instead of relying on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can deplete the soil of valuable nutrients and increase environmental degradation, organic agriculture builds up soil using such practices as composting, cover cropping, and crop rotation.” Organic Trade Association
Did you see the Stacey Dooley documentary “Fashions Dirty Secrets”? In her exposé Stacey Dooley revealed the negative impacts that conventional cotton growing has on our planet.
The vast quantities of water that cotton production uses has dried up whole seas and rivers.
Our appetite for cotton clothing is destroying the planet but using organic cotton can help prevent that.
What is Oeko-Tex Certified Fabric?
Oeko Tex cotton fabric is fabric that uses standard cotton but has been certified free from hazardous chemicals and is therefore deemed safe.
Most makers and brands use fabric that is certified on the 'Oeko Tex 100 Standard' which deemed products baby and child safe.
If the clothing you buy is Oeko Tex 100 certified, you can be sure that it is safe for babies and children and that harmful chemicals and substances are not present in the fabric used.
The sorts of chemicals that the fabric is tested for include banned azo dyes, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, cadmium, nickel, etc.
Read the full list here: www.oeko-tex.com/limitvalues.
As well as being sure that fabric does not contain harmful chemicals it will also have been put trough a suck test. That is where the fabric is tested with artificial saliva to make sure that the dyes are set properly.
Materials are tested independently and random audits and checks are also carried out. Regular audits and control testing on all production lines ensure that there is conformity amongst all products from a certain manufacturer.
Choosing clothing that is made with oeko tex certified fabric is a good way of making sure that the fabric meets critical safety standards but it is important to note it is only the end product that is tested. it does not mean that no harmful chemicals have been used - only that there are no harmful chemicals left in the end product.
Which is better for the environment? Oeko Tex or Organic cotton fabric?
Organic fabric is MUCH better for the environment that oeko tex fabric.
The Oeko Tex certification focuses on the end product and organic certification focuses on the whole journey from raw fibre right through to end product.
Oeko Tex certified fabric will have no harmful chemical reside left in it but that does not mean some may have been used along the way.
In contrast organic cotton fabric has no harmful chemicals because there have been none used in any of its production processes.
I believe that we should be buying and using the best products we can - which is why I have chosen organic cotton for Tutti Frutti Clothing
Read more about my ethical journey here:
If you want MORE organic leggings then shop our AWARD WINNING range below!
Organic clothes are very soft and free from toxins. They’re definitely a great option for baby clothes.
Yes, I appreciate the article in doing some research on the certifications. I see Oeko Tex products at Aldi and it really is a great selling point for me. There’s many things I won’t buy because I know they’re laden with chemicals and fumes that I don’t want to be exposed to.
your article was very informative thank you from a mom who is new to buying at a new and very high standard. Curious if you share the fabric retailers or suppliers that you have found along the way. I have a 10 and 12 year old to buy for and its a lot to wade through to find all around good companies and products. we want 100% organic silk, cotton, linen or wool, no chemicals and natural dyes. Any help you can provide?
Hi Viv, Thanks so much for your comment. Oeko Tex certification is a way of showing that the fabric or end product does not contain any harmful substances. The Oeko Tex website has a whole list (it’s very long) of substances which they test for. To gain the certification the manufactures must ensure these chemicals are not present in their garments or materials.
The Oeko Tex certification is not just for cotton though. Products can be made of synthetic fibres but can still have the oeko tex certification as it covers the chemicals and substances not the actual materials themselves. I hope this makes sense?
The Oeko Tex website might help more: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/
Thanks for the info …but I really do not understand how OEKO TEX Can say their product is healthier especially when their Bras are always made of Polyamide etc which is a really bad material. Can you comment on this please I am trying to buy a good bra but the organic cotton ones are just not looking good under clothes