'The Organic Cotton Standard (OCS) is a certification provided by the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit working to transform the textile industry's preferred fibre, social standards and use of ethical supply chains. The OCS requires that a conforming organisation takes steps throughout the supply chain to ensure that the integrity and identity of the input material is preserved.
Water consumption is an area that is particularly important in the context of cotton production. Historically the large water requirements of cotton have resulted in local communities having their water supply diverted to farming which causes shortages. The OCS stipulates the material should be 75-80% rainfed and thus reducing impact on the local water supply. Appropriate management of soil fertility is key to sustainable and organic production. Strict requirements are in place relating to the rotation and conservation of soil. Hazardous pesticides, synthetic fertilizer and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are not allowed.
At the farm level, verification must be completed annually by a 3rd party. OCS production must comply with labour standards as set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Organic certification is not granted without compliance. These range from the C29 - Forced Labour Convention to the C1 - Hours of Work (Industry) Convention.
Studies by the Textile Exchange have shown that materials grown complying to the OCS require 88% less water than the standard equivalent. Primary energy demand is also reduced by 58%.
As well as offering a standard 'Certified to OCS 100' identification a 'Certified to OCS Blended' identification is also available for products containing part OCS organic material and also another material such as recycled polyester.
Our own Earth Wardrobe Essentials range is certified by OCS. Our 100% cotton t-shirts are certified to OCS 100 while our sweatshirts and hoodies also contain recycled polyester from plastic bottles - meaning they carry the OCS Blended certification. The same can be said of the sweatshirts in our rPET range such as the womens cropped hoodie.