The importance of an organic label for textiles

What is the issue with textiles?
The organic textile market is rapidly growing and the textile industry may be victim of greenwashing to satisfy European consumer demand for the sustainability of their purchases. At the same time, conventional textiles have an important impact on the environment and climate, with constant and significant exposure of the environment and workers to pesticides and chemicals, coupled with considerable greenhouse gas emissions.

How are organic textiles part of the solution?
On all these points, organic textiles answer the tremendous challenge of the sector’s necessary transition to a more sustainable system. Organic fibre growers do not use hazardous chemicals or synthetic pesticides. IFOAM Organics Europe argues that an organic label could cover both fibre production and textile processing. It would reduce greenwashing and secure an organic outlet. You can find all the information on organic textiles in this infographic developed by IFOAM Organics Europe and on our dedicated website page.

IFOAM Organics Europe is working in a concrete way to get an organic label for textiles recognised. First, we are in the process of revising our position paper on the issue. Moreover, since the end of 2021, we set up a network of NGOs and actors active on this issue and ready to support our work.

How does the European organic movement contribute?
Our work is also reflected in our strong involvement in policymaking. After reacting to the European Commission’s strategy on sustainable and circular textiles, published in March, by welcoming the reopening of the 2011 regulation as a first step towards the recognition of organic textiles in Europe, we continue to be involved.

In mid-June, we submitted our response to the questionnaire on the transition pathway in the textile sector (covering topics as broad as sustainability, digitalisation and resilience of the sector) to the European Commission. We have also recently reacted to the proposed regulation amending the ecodesign requirements, notably on textiles, highlighting the need for reflection on the organic label.

For more information on the organic textiles and IFOAM Organics Europe’s work on this issue, please contact [email protected].

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