Everybody associates cotton with something natural and healthy. It is not uncommon that when seeing the label “100% cotton” we want to buy the product even more. However, not everybody realizes what the real story is hidden behind sourcing this raw material. Additionally, nobody asks the question whether in the contemporary industrialized world the raw material sourced in a mass scale can remain natural. In True Rider we have explored this issue a bit and started the journey (that isn’t finished yet;)) in order to find the answer. Our new collection has a lot in common with our discoveries and philosophy. Why? Read further…
Cotton belongs to the most often grown plants in the world. Its plantations cover nearly 35 mln hectares. Unfortunately, according to Organic Trade Association, conventional method of growing cotton is placed in the first infamous place in the ranking of most toxic ones. Why? Because of the fact that although cotton plantations cover only 2,5% of the whole world cropland, the production uses 25% of all pesticides and 10% of herbicides! Moreover, some amount of chemicals may remain in cotton fibre, therefore having contact with human skin! Hence, according to some scientists it causes more often diagnosed skin allergies, or even asthma!
How is organic cotton produced?
The organic cotton production is a long process... Some methods of growing the plant come from 3000 BC and are still practiced! However, to gain the ecological certificate, the fact of practicing natural methods is not enough. The soil undergoes 3-year quarantine during which no chemicals can be used. From seeding to the production of clothing, every stage is under the rigorous quality control. The growth of cotton goes with the accordance of natural environmental processes, without using chemical substances or artificial fertilizers stimulating the growth. The only acceptable substances must be biodegradable, eg. garlic, alfalfa, citric acid or dung. Ecological culture allows to save water as well, which is important because of the fact that ¾ of the plantations are located in the Third World countries (Source: Ecological - Agricultural Encyclopedia).
Organic cotton is hand picked, without any machinery, that protects it from mixing with seed oil, thus there is no need to clean it chemically. In the factory, it is washed by hand using only light, natural substances. Thanks to that, the fibres are together, not weakened by chemicals and, as a result, more durable and softer. It is also coloured naturally with certified non-toxic dye, e.g. clay.
Ecology vs Economics?
Horse riders have a hard life. Not only do they have to spend fortunes on their horses, but also they want to look stylish. Besides, who wouldn’t buy a beautiful saddle pad or horse rug at least once? Everybody! But when it comes to buying something for yourself, you are full of doubts ;) Hence why, we are aware that when purchasing clothes, the choice is firmly considered. Even if the price of organic clothes may surprise you, you have to bear in mind that higher price is connected to higher quality. The fibres of organic cotton that have no contact with chemical substances are stronger, resilient, and resistant to stretching. When wet, they are 30 per cent stronger than the dry ones, so they withstand numerous washing without losing their features, colours, which really matters when it comes to equestrian clothing undergoing real strength tests. Organic cotton clothing will serve you better and make you happy longer!
Other advantages of organic cotton:
- Lack of chemical substances – clothing doesn’t irritate your skin
- Fabric is airy, breathes naturally, provides your skin with access to air but keeping warmth inside on colder days, which is really important to all active equestrians
- Buying organic cotton you fight inhumane working conditions on conventional plantations
Explanation of our fabric certificates you can also find together with labels attached to our clothing:
GOTS is the certificate for the product embracing all stages of production, starting with raw material, then natural textiles (cotton, linen, silk, hemp) up to ready clothing. It was established by the International Working Group of Global Textile Standard (IWG), the group associating the organizations from Europe, USA and Japan which certifies and marks products friendly to the environment. Our category of GOTS marking: Organic – given by GOTS to the products which contain at least 95% of eco-certified fabrics.
Fair wear foundation - the organization associating companies, whose goal is the improvement of working conditions in places where clothing is sewn. Fair Wear Foundation unites about 80 firms and 120 brands from 7 European countries. The products are sold in 20 thousand shops in more than 80 countries in the world. FWF also focuses on payment control. The organization provides workers with payments high enough to fulfill their basic living needs.
Organic Content Standard - the certificate given to ready products, however, there are strict conditions when cotton is harvested and produced. The kind of OCS certificate, which our cloths have been given is: OE 100– the certificate given to products consisting in 95-100% of organic cotton.
Remember that philosophy and values we create in True Rider don’t make empty promises. One of our keystone is responsibility for what we create with respect to humans and animals. And because of that, we wanted our summer collection to be the highest quality, using the most natural materials, which we are sure that the conditions they were created in were ethical. We were searching for fabrics possessing certificates confirming their origin. We want to be certain the material wasn’t collected by “modern slaves”, but by workers who are honestly paid and work in decent conditions.
We know that in these days “eco” is becoming more and more fashionable, and some of us are even obsessed with eco-products. However, we are conscious that not everything can be done ecologically, especially when it comes to comparing costs of so called ordinary cotton production and organic cotton production. Nevertheless, organic cotton doesn’t divide people into “good” and “bad”. By offering you the collection made of organic cotton, we just want to give you choice. If you want to consciously pack your wardrobe and wear a bit more expensive outfits, bearing in mind that step by step you improve the environment as well as ethical rights of workers – check our Eco-friendly Rider collection. If you like collecting clothes and you don’t care about the fabrics they are made of, don’t worry, we have and will have some attractive collections for you as well. At last, True Rider is a True Rider ;)
If you have any questions, please contact us :)