KappAhl about organic cotton and eco-labeled clothes
Since 1993 KappAhl are working with environmental and eco-labeled clothing. Today, 20 percent of the garments designed for KappAhl are eco-labeled - most of them are children's garments. From week 14, our baby collection Newbie is in stores. This time the entire collection is made from organic cotton.
Cotton is one of the most widely grown crops in the world. Nearly 35 million hectares are used for cotton production, which is approximately 2.5 percent of the world's agricultural land. About 80 countries produce cotton on a commercial scale and more than 90 percent of the cotton farmers live in developing countries, on farms with less than two hectares. In these countries, cotton production is an important crop for farmers and the farming stands for a significant financial contribution to each country's economy.
Cotton cultivation requires a lot of water. To get a kilo the cotton is required between 17000-30000 gallons of water. That's about three shirts. KappAhl buys about 9.5 million kg cotton per year, which is 0.04 percent of the world’s cotton production. The International Cotton Advisory Committee estimates that about 300 million people are working in the Cotton industry.
Today KappAhl buys close to 500 000 pieces per year made from organic cotton. Organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of dangerous chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. In order of the customer to be assured that it's organic cotton you are buying, there are a number of organic certification in the market for example GOTS, SKAL, IMO and Control Union (CU). They make sure that the cotton you buy is followed by the directives that are contained in organic cotton.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
Only a few percent of the world's cotton is organically grown. KappAhl wants the sustainably cultivated cotton to increase. That’s why we are members of Better Cotton Initiative, BCI. BCI is working to ensure the availability of the sustainable cultivated cotton, by improving the conditions for cultivation and therefore also for the environment and the long-term cotton supply. The first BCI-cotton was in trade in 2010.
Important for the farmers
A major part of today's cotton cultivation runs by inefficient irrigation systems and cultivation methods. Incorrect use of pesticides and fertilizers threatens the access to clean water and could affect the soil, biodiversity and health of people negatively. There are also reports that witness of tough working conditions and economic difficulties for farmers, including as a result of high prices of inputs and crop failure.
A center point is to create an interest among the farmers to choose sustainable cotton cultivation instead of conventional farming methods. BCI is working to ensure the availability of the sustainable cultivated cotton, by improving the conditions for cultivation and therefore also for the environment and the long-term cotton supply. The first BCI-cotton was in trade 2010. Through BCI the farmers learns how to use less water, less chemicals and less pesticides also in the conventional cotton farming. The aim is to achieve a more environmentally friendly cotton production and improve farmers' social situation.
Read more: www.bettercotton.org.
KappAhls other eco-labels
All garments produced by KappAhl comply with strict chemical requirements. This means that the end product does not contain any harmful substances and the impact of the production processes on the environment is reduced Today, 20% of the garments that are designed for KappAhl are labeled Oeko-Tex Standard 100, with the EU Flower and Organic Cotton and Organic Linen. Already in 1993, we bought in our first certified organic cotton which can be traced all the way back to the farmer. Since 2008, we are Oeko-Tex certified and have quality assured statistics for our eco and health labeled clothes
Oeko – Tex Standard 100
Oeko Tex is not an environmental label, but a human ecological certification system, where the garments are tested for the presence of hazardous substances in the end product. This includes substances that are banned or legally restricted, chemicals that are known to be harmful to health as well as parameters to promote health.
Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is the leading label for textiles that have been tested for harmful substances. The International Oeko-Tex® Association is an association of 14 well-reputed textile research and testing institutes in Europe and Japan, with representatives and contacts in more than 40 countries around the world. The whole garment is tested: material, sewing thread, labels, embroidery, print etc.
Read more: www.oeko-tex.com
The EU Flower is a European eco-label that checks the entire chain from the raw material to the finished garment.The EU Flower works in the same way as the Swan label. The products are analyzed from a life-cycle perspective - from the raw material to disposal, including a particular focus on how the garment is manufactured. Before a license is granted, the products must be approved as meeting the high standards for performance, quality and environmental safety. The standards are continuously being raised.
Read more: www.blomman.nu
Organic cotton and lin
Organic cotton is cotton that has been grown without the use of hazardous chemicals, chemical pesticides or artificial fertilizers. The use of genetically modified crops is not allowed. KappAhl's organic cotton is procured via those certification bodies that guarantee that the cotton bought is organic, i.e. complies with the directive for organic cultivation. These bodies include the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), SKAL (Dutch Inspection Body for Organic Production), IMO (Swiss Institute for Market Ecology) and the Control Union (CU).