How can we make sure that the fabrics we are using are not only safe for our kids to wear but also not harmful to our environment and the people making the fabrics?
There are 3 important questions you should ask when buying fabric:
What is it made of?
How is it made?
Who made it?
It might be different for each person what answers they want to hear.
For me, to use the fabrics with a good conscience, I want them to be made from organic or recycled fibres. The fabric should be printed/coloured using a process with ink or dye that is not harming the environment or the people handling it. I also want the workers along the whole chain to be paid fairly for their labour.
You can spend hours researching and discussing what makes a material eco-friendly or harmful. I will make it easy for you to get some good information quickly, so I'll share a great website that I found:
It has an easy to read overview of most common materials used in the fashion industry.
As you might know, there are certified labels like GOTS and OEKO-TEX that ask all these questions and make it easy for the consumer to purchase fabric with a clean conscience.
What you might not know is, that it takes a lot of time and a huge amount of money for suppliers and retailers to be certified by these labels. This means that small businesses often can't afford to get certification and therefore are not allowed to say that they are selling GOTS or OEKO-TEX products.
You can always check on the relevant label's website if a retailer is certified. For example: If you do a search for fabric retailers in Sweden at the GOTS website, you might be shocked to learn that not many fabric retailers in Sweden are certified with GOTS.
I dream of one day being able to afford the cost of getting certified by GOTS and OEKO-TEX because I want to make it easy for my customers to feel safe when buying my fabrics.
It is very important for me to make sure that the fabrics are not only of good quality, but also safe to use and made in a sustainable and ethically sound way.
So even though I can't advertise with the fact that my fabrics are GOTS, I will still only have my designs printed on organic or recycled material by suppliers that are GOTS and/or OEKO-TEX certified.