Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen the words “GOTS certified organic cotton” on our site, but don’t know what they mean — or why you should care. (*Raises hand immediately.*) At Primary, we take pride in the safe, sustainable, and high quality fabrics we use, and today, we're excited to chat with Ryan Lau, our Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, to learn more about these materials, what it means to be sustainable, and why it matters.
What does GOTS certified mean?
GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. It's the worldwide standard for textile processing of organic fibers, and a set of requirements that every step of the supply chain process has to abide by. For a fabric to be GOTS certified, it must meet all criteria, from the seed that gets planted, to the farming process, to the way the fibers are sewn.
Got it! Why is that certification a good thing?
It means that anything that comes in contact with our fabrics meets extremely strict criteria to ensure that there's nothing environmentally harmful about our clothes, which is beneficial to both our employees and our customers. Customers can take comfort in knowing that the clothes kids wear were produced safely, are better for the planet, and safe on sensitive skin.
So, GOTS Organic Certification is basically like a little insurance policy for everyone involved?
Exactly! We always make sure our practices and clothing are super safe, but GOTS certification is another layer of protection that's been agreed on by the entire industry for each stage of a garment's life cycle.
How does sustainability play into all of this? Are organic clothes sustainable?
The short answer is yes! Sustainability is a much more broad term when it comes to clothing. There aren't the same regulations for a garment to be considered sustainable in contrast to the clear-cut rules that come with a GOTS certification.
When we talk about sustainability at Primary, it means that none of our processes compromise the social, economic, and environmental resources of future generations. GOTS organic clothes are sustainable, but not all sustainable clothes are organic. There are ways to be sustainable that aren't necessarily organic, such as using recycled materials. We have plenty of styles that are sustainable but are not organic, like our lightweight puffers.
That makes sense. What are some other ways that Primary is sustainable?
Recycling pre-and-post-consumer waste is probably the biggest one! We turn all kinds of materials into super soft clothes, from plastic nets that are fished out of the ocean to leftover fabrics that our supply chain partners won't use. Putting these kinds of waste to good use results in less trash being sent to landfills or garbage incinerators.
We also have extremely strict criteria when it comes to dyeing and processing our clothes. We make sure that no hazardous chemicals are ever used that would discharge anything toxic into the environment. We also use compostable packaging, so even the bag your Primary order comes in is better for the planet!
So, it sounds like there are a lot of ways to be sustainable, and producing organic clothing is just one of them?
Yes! It's been such a rewarding challenge to take a hard look at each step of our process, and figure out where we can do better by the environment, and by our customers. We're really proud of all the creative ways we've introduced sustainability.
Thanks so much, Ryan! Read our chat with Ryan about UPF 50 here, and shop organic baby styles, including new, three-piece gift sets.