What fabrics are used to make Öko Creations products and why are they “green”?
The choice of our textiles is the fruit of research and experimentation. We search for textiles that have minimal impact on our planet and health, are of great quality, and, of course, please our customers! Therefore, we are constantly at the forefront of what supplies are available on the market.
Our research has brought us to the following textiles: hemp, organic cotton and recycled polyester. These are natural or minimally polluting fibres.
The choice of hemp is described in detail in the question below. We would like to add that since hemp cultivation is suitable to Canadian climates, we find it critical to promote its use.
We also use certified organic cotton, knowing that:
Traditional cotton represents just 2.4% of cultivated lands, but 25% of the insecticides used worldwide.
Traditional cotton cultivation causes the intoxication of 1 million people and the death of 22 000 people each year (mostly workers).
Traditional cotton is the 3rd largest consumer of irrigated water in the world after rice and wheat, before fruits and vegetables, in a time of water scarcity. Organic cotton requires much less water than traditional cotton, although it remains more demanding than hemp.
Child labour in the cultivation of traditional cotton is common.
Multiple chemical treatments for preparing and finishing are used on traditional cotton fibres.
•Équiterre; Guide du vêtement responsable, 2009 •Environmental assesment of textiles, danish ministery, 2007 •Goldminc, Myriam et Aubert, Claude; Vêtement, la fibre écologique, Terre Vivante, 2001 •Cotton and the environment, organic trade association •Protégez-vous en partenariat avec ethiquette.ca; Guide acheter vert, 2008
Why is hemp ecological?
Hemp is cited everywhere as being the most “green” fibre there is. Why? Naturally low polluting
Hemp constitutes one of the least polluting fibres in existence. The hemp plant requires no fertilizer or other treatments to grow. In fact, it grows faster than weeds, covering the ground in about 8 days and choking out weeds without the need for herbicides. Futhermore, hemp is seldom attacked by insects.
Hemp roots go deep into the ground, draining, aerating and regenerating the soil. By leaving the plant in place after a harvest, hemp will feed the ground by decomposing and returning a strong proportion of nutritive elements to the earth.
Hemp fibre is the most resistant in the vegetable world. Considered a first necessity good alongside such items as bread, in the 18th century, hemp was used for such things as ship sails, ropes, fishing nets, clothing and stockings. Textile hemp is extremely easy to wash and is not damaged by high temperatures.
Hemp adapts itself to all types of soil and almost all climates. Contrary to cotton and bamboo, it grows well in Québec and in the rest of Canada. Only legally farmable since 1998 in Canada, we are presently witnessing a renaissance of its farming and the emergence of a market for hemp products, notably food (hemp seeds and oil), cosmetic (hemp oil) and construction (hempcrete) products. In the field of textiles, small initiatives are taking place now to make Canada-grown hemp a possibility in the near future.
Few products are as versatile as hemp! It can feed us, clothe us, house us… and it can even be transformed into paper, fabric, flour, construction materials, car components and soaps, and all this without dangerous chemicals!
Hemp produces a much higher quantity of fibre per hectare than any other type of plant. For example, we can obtain 250% more hemp than cotton on a given surface, and 1.5 times more hemp than flax. On top of this, hemp farming gives 4 times more paper than trees.
Other qualities of hemp
-Very absorbent and hypoallergenic -Blocks ultraviolet rays -Has bactericidal and fungicidal properties -Mixed with cotton, hemp becomes soft and silky – Fibre can be transformed without chemical agents, by mechanical techniques and by retting (soaking of fibre in water)
•Le chanvre canadien, Agriculture et Agro-alimentaire Canada, 2011 •Habillez-moi de chanvre, Conseil national de recherches Canada, 2004 •Équiterre; Guide du vêtement responsable, 2009 •Goldminc, M et Aubert, C; Vêtement, la fibre écologique, Terre Vivante, 2001
Are Öko creations products certified organic or fair trade
At the moment, completed Öko Creations products are not certified organic. However, our textiles are certified organic. These textiles are mainly certified by the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
Our products are also not certified Fair Trade, but they are all made in Canada and the well-being of our employees is very important to us. They are well paid and work in flexible and comfortable conditions. Our offices are spacious and filled with light. The atmosphere is warm.
Although not certified Fair Trade, our suppliers visit the textile manufacturing sites to ensure that working conditions are fair. The fact that the textiles are organic, and therefore do not contain harmful chemical products, is without a doubt beneficial to workers’ health!