Journal

What Does it Take to Label a T-Shirt Truly

What Does it Take to Label a T-Shirt Truly "Organic"?

Companies looking to take advantage of the popularity of organic clothing cannot just slap the label up there and call their products organic.  There are strict guidelines in place to determine whether or not the t-shirt is in fact organic.

In order to be called an organic t shirt, the company has to abide by certain manufacturing rules.  When coloring the clothes, they cannot use inks and dyes which were commonly used in the past.  

This is due to the fact those old inks and dyes contained harmful chemicals and heavy metals.  They could cause harm to the environment whenever the t-shirt was disposed of.  Even during the manufacturing process, the water runoff from the coloring process can contaminate the groundwater supply which is definitely not beneficial for the environment.  Instead, companies which want to make an organic t shirt will need to use natural inks and dyes made from vegetative matter and animal residue.

In order to be called organic, the material used to make a t-shirt has to be natural.  The most common material used to make this type of clothing is cotton.  However, other options include pulp from bamboo and fleece made from reprocessed bottles.

Each of these types offers their own benefits.  For instance, fleece is a very lightweight and warm material, so it is good to wear during the fall and winter.  On the other hand, bamboo shirts are good to wear during the spring and summer since they do a great job of wicking away moisture.

It should also be noted that in order to be called organic, these materials cannot be grown using fertilizers or pesticides.  Although they obviously offer plenty of benefits, these chemicals can cause a range of problems with the environment.

Workers who handle them may suffer health problems.  Small birds and other wildlife that consume the chemicals by accident will also suffer health problems and possibly even die.  Also, the soil may not produce plants as well after being exposed to these chemicals.

It takes a lot to be called an organic t shirt.  Companies cannot just say they produce organic clothing when they truly do not, since they have to abide by strict guidelines.  Most importantly, fertilizers or pesticides cannot be used to help the plants grow faster or keep pests away.  The shirt will also need to be colored with natural dyes produced from animal residue or vegetative matter so they are not harmful to the environment.