How does a customer know how "green" a textile manufacturer is?

Standort in Bempflingen Deutschland von grünem Textilhersteller Cotonea

Location of the company Gebr. Elmer & Zweifel in Bempflingen, Germany - inventor and manufacturer of the organic brand Cotonea.

Our sales representatives are often asked at fairs how a customer can know how "green" a textile manufacturer is. In concrete terms, the question is whether a producer or supplier really does what it claims to do. Is a quality standard label such as Oeko-Tex (with relatively low standards) enough for the consumer or does he ask for a completely organic product with high standards such as IVN BEST or at least GOTS?

Without a question, labels and seals are important. That is why Greenpeace regularly publishes an updated shopping guide in which the eight most important labels are described and rated. The German Federal Government operates the internet portal for consumer education. Sadly, the consumer still cannot be sure that all manufacturers have “clean hands”. In order to be able to assess companies and their trustworthiness and authenticity, it is helpful to take a look at the manufacturer's website, for example, because many companies no longer produce products themselves. The design is developed under a European brand, but production takes place in low-wage countries.

With trustworthy producers, the entire production chain should be traceable on the website: who grows the organic cotton and from which countries does it come? Where is the spinning mill, the weaving mill? Where is the fabric refined and finished? At Cotonea all of these steps - from the cultivation of the organic cotton to the finished textile - take place within our own operations or hand in hand with long-standing partners who are committed to the Cotonea way of working. The entire production chain is fair-for-life certified by Ecocert. The “product passport” on each finished Cotonea product contains all the names of the participating farms as well as what was made there.

Even though all manufacturing steps are in our own hands, it is important to check, measure and test the goods for relevant parameters at every stage of processing. These checks also help Cotonea, for example, to avoid errors. A manufacturer who places the highest demands on his products expects top quality performance from his employees and suppliers. To ensure that they are prepared to provide these services, it goes without saying that they must be treated and paid fairly. This is how relationships that are based on trust, not on the lowest prices, are able to grow over many years.

Behind Cotonea’s quality and its products are people who are passionate about what they do.

Many manufacturers who are members of the International Association of Natural Textile Industry fulfil these conditions.