An organic cotton farm that we visited in Tamil Nadu. Companion planting is used to strengthen soil structure and provide shade. Here coconut trees share a field with cotton seedlings.
High Quality Organic Cotton
All of our garments are constructed with only the highest quality GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton, which means that the cotton that has been farmed without dangerous chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers and genetically modified seeds. The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. For more detail on GOTS, check out their website.
Handwoven Organic Chambray
Handloomed woven cloth has a rich and long history in South India, which is why we travelled there when looking for a chambray to add to our fabrications. It’s been spun, woven, and dyed there since prehistoric times, and is an ancient industry for the area.
The process starts with raw GOTS certified 100% organic cotton yarn, which is then dyed by hand in the two colours used in our fabric; indigo in the warp, and white in the weft. The warp yarn is then stretched out onto a loom to the desired length of the fabric, and the weft yarn is woven back and forth to create the cloth.
The fabric is easy to care and durable, but also incredibly comfortable and soft. You’ll find as it ages, it becomes even softer in handle. It’s a beautiful process, and your chambray garments will become a part of your story every time you wear them.
The production process for conventional (non-organic) cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop, 25% of the world's total usage, in fact. Pesticides contaminate local waterways, destroying the environment and harming animals. Pests build a resistance to the chemicals used, so new pesticides are continuously developed, resulting in greater pesticide use and perpetually increasing costs for farmers.In addition to the environmental factors, food and water supplies can also be contaminated from runoff which in turn can create suffering through disease, illness and birth defects in local communities.
The benefits of using organic cotton are therefore apparent. It means that the health of all people involved in the supply chain is improved and local communities can benefit from relatively clean water and food supplies. In addition, organic cotton farmers generally have a longer cotton commodity lifespan because chemical-free agricultural land stays fertile much longer than land which is damaged by the use of pesticides. Organic farmers often utilise companion planting (cotton with coconut trees and mango trees with chilli and onion plants, for example) which supports the soil structure and gives them yielding crops over different timeframes.
Recycled PET Polyester
Our North American fabric supplier does a lot of great things. Their eco-textiles not only use recycled PET plastic bottles, but also an energy saving, ecologically sustainable process to knit the fabric. The fabric in our MOVE range uses 70% less water, energy, and heat compared to traditional polyester processing methods; a far more sustainable way to produce a fabric that has longevity and strength.
Interested in what PET is, and how we turn it into a fabric? Also known as Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET is a clear, tough plastic that’s commonly used in water bottles and moulded consumer product containers. It’s been recycled for use in the carpet industry for years, and it’s now gaining popularity as an apparel textile fibre.
These post-consumer water and soft drink bottles are shredded into tiny chips, which are then re-processed into tiny fibres that are spun into a yarn. This yarn is then knitted with elastane (for stretch) into the fabric that we are using for our leggings and crop tops.
Dyeing and Printing
After the weaving and knitting processes, the organic cotton fabrics are then dyed and printed using methods that avoid toxic heavy metals, AZOs and formaldehyde. This is highly beneficial for the employees working in the dye and print houses, as well as the end consumer, whose skin comes into contact with the fabric in its final use! All waste water from the dye and print units is treated for future agricultural use.
All of our packaging, swing tags and business cards are recycled and recyclable.
Garment After Care
A large amount of energy goes into the after care of clothing, so please be mindful. You can machine wash your ALAS garment in cool water, and line dry to reduce energy consumption. Avoid wasting water by not washing your garments unnecessarily - spot clean where possible.