A label is a label... or what? Are you on top of what the various labels tell you – e.g. if they say anything about the environment, organics, or health. If not, the read along here.
(Socks consist of at least 80% organic wool/cotton and are dyed according to GOTS standards).
There are countless labels in the textile industry, and for many of us, it is hard to figure out which labels promise what. Therefore, we at DILLING have created an overview of 4 of the most common labels on the market and we have compared these to our own ’ECO label’. To keep the overview organized, we chose to focus on 3 areas that we find essential in terms of the production of organic underwear in wool and cotton.
When it comes to organics, DILLING’s ’ECO’ and GOTS are superior to the other labels. These guarantee that the vast majority of the raw materials are organic. When it comes to cotton underwear, the EU Flower can compete, but it sets no standards for woolen underwear in this area.
Makes you think!
In terms of the dye works processes, DILLING’s ’ECO’, the Swan, and GOTS are quite similar. They all ban the use of harmful dyeing agents in the production, which is good, both for your health and for the environment!
The Flower and Oeko-Tex do not ban the use of harmful dyeing agents. The Flower, however, limits the use of these in production, and has set threshold limits for any content in the final products. Oeko-Tex 100 focuses strictly on the final products, where they have set threshold limits for allowable content. In principle, however, this means that you can use any chemicals you want, as long as the textile is cleansed sufficiently before the final phase. Arguably, however the threshold set for the final product also sets an indirect threshold for the use of dyeing agents in the production.
As far as heavy metals, the use of these is most often associated with the dyeing of wool. It can be difficult – and in some cases impossible – to hit the right shade of color without using heavy metals. Presumably, this is the reason why the Flower allows heavy metals for dyeing of wool, and why GOTS has opted for easing the requirements for the colors blue, green, and turquoise. If you want to avoid heavy metals completely (or at least keep them at a level similar to your drinking water), then DILLING’s ’ECO’-labeled products are what you want.
When it comes to work conditions, DILLING’s ’ECO’, the Swan, and GOTS have similar requirements: the law must be observed, and basic rights respected. E.g., you are not allowed to use forced or child labor, discrimination is banned, and the employees must be free to organize. The Flower has the same requirements, just for the last part of production (CMT: Cut, Make, Trim).
This overview is based on criteria from the individual labels – if you want to know more about the other requirements, you can read more in the criteria documents from each individual label: The Swan, GOTS, The Flower & Oeko-Tex 100.