At Ochre and Ocre Ltd we aim to bring you the most ecologically responsible product possible. We want the people who work on our products to have a fair and adequate quality of life, good work satisfaction and a healthy working environnement. For these reasons we have decided to use Organic Cotton and Organic Linen for our collection, manufactured in Portugal, & produced to Oeko-tex standards.
Most of us are aware of the benefits of eating organic food, but it is equally important to consider the ecological benefits of using Organic products in your home.
Organic farming is friendlier to the environment, encouraging a greater diversity of birds, butterflies & plants. Organic farming relies on crop rotation, which helps to make the soil more fertile.
Organic farming severely restricts the use of artificial fertilisers & pesticides, & all GM technology. The main principle of organic farming is "working with, not against" nature.
Why Organic Cotton?
Cotton crops suffer from heavy pest infections and 25% of the worlds pesticides are used on cotton crops. Organic cotton farming involves using beneficial insects, crop rotation and organic manure. Organic cottons are also guaranteed non GM.
The quality of organic cotton is also much higher as the fibres have not been broken down by the chemicals used in production. The material is softer, but tougher and longer lasting.
Farming organically also benefits the farmers; as well as receiving a higher price for their organic cotton, their health is substantially improved as they avoid the hazardous chemicals. (Cotton pesticides used on non organic crops are often broad spectrum organophosphates, pesticides originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II). It is a big step for farmers to go organic, as they need to learn new methods of farming, & initially crop yields are lower.
Organic cotton is less likely to cause or trigger allergies, due to the avoidance of the nasty chemicals, it will also smell cleaner as no formaldehyde is used to coat the fabric.
The Organic Cotton we are using is grown in Turkey, & woven in Portugal
Why Organic Linen?
The problem with growing Linen is the weeds, they weaken the fibre, hence the use of high quantities of weed killer in farms that grow intensive crops of Linen. Crop rotation is important to keep the weeds down in order to produce organic linen. If grown after alfalfa, for example, there are very few weeds as the alfala suffocates them. Organic linen can only be grown on farms with a good crop rotation of wheat, alfalfa and linen.
Linen flax is grown mainly in wet temperate climes, & is cultivated widely in Europe. As well as yielding linen fibre during flax processing, 50% of the harvested biomass is produced as "shive", which is a useful raw material for manufacturing boards for the construction industry, & is also used for furniture. Its oil, (linseed), is also used by the food & pharmaceutical industries.
The processing of flax into fibre by retting & scutching, respects the environment, as it is purely mechanical, using neither solvents nor water
What is Oeko-tex?
Oeko-tex is an international testing & certification system for textiles that limits the use of certain chemicals.
Items produced to the Oeko-tex standard, are manufactured without the use of harmful chemicals, which are damaging to both the environment & health. The Oeko-tex standard was established in 1992, as a safety standard throughout the whole manufacturing chain, & checks are carried out at each stage of the process.
Tests are carried out to check for the presence of pesticides, formaldehyde, extractable heavy metals, azo enzymes, & allergy inducing dyestuffs.
A product can only be awarded the Oeko-tex symbol if all its components, without exception, comply with the relevant criteria.
Textiles with the Oeko-tex mark do not contain allergenic, or carcinogenic dyestuffs, are free from formaldehyde, have a skin friendly PH, & are free from biologically active finishes.