Finally GOTS certified organic cotton bags and scarves are coming! I am so excited about this and I hope many of you will be too so this new branch can thrive and grow. I’d like to share some of the process I’ve gone through coming to find just the right fabric.
Urban life has definitely made me more aware of the unsustainable ways we live. Yet when I first decided to print on fabric I assumed it would be easy enough to get organics to work with, after all organic food is everywhere and we are seeing more organic clothing in the shops. Though after searching all the fabric shops in Brussels I found that not only was it impossible to get organic anything but they had hardly any fabrics that didn’t have some quantity of polyester. I was really surprised as it wasn’t something I had noticed before. So I went online to see what I could find and was overwhelmed by the decisions to be made, the lack of clear information in many cases and the expense of it all so I decided to get off the computer and start where I could with natural fabrics. I was lucky enough to eventually find a good fabric supplier just beyond the city that had excellent Belgian linen and plain cotton canvas. So it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned for Grey Whale and honestly I felt a little defeated but just had to make a start.
Behind the scenes the quest for high quality organics went on and after many more hours spent searching the web and many fabric samples purchased I am pleased to say that finally I will be bringing a GOTS certified organic section to my shop! This is long overdue as I may have listened to one or two naysayers including my own doubting mind instead of following my intuition, ‘Is it worth the cost? Do people really care?’ Happily though I’m working through doubts and aiming to bring even more earth friendly materials into the mix. The road to sustainability is clearly not as straight and simple as it should be but I really believe that small changes implemented little by little are so important. If we look at all the negatives and see nothing but barriers to environmental change it’s so easy to feel it’s hopeless. But seeing the small ways we can easily make different choices is a positive step forward. It’s such an exciting time as more and more options become available to us.
Also in my plan to increase the sustainability of Grey Whale is to use some plant dyes which I will extract from things like avocado skins, onion skins, eucalyptus and hibiscus. So if you’d like to know when these organics will be available to buy you can get on my newsletter list up on the top bar of this page (quantities will be quite limited to start out!) Also keep an eye out and if you’re on Instagram you can follow my progress there @urbangreywhale and do say hello!
If you’d like to know more about the materials and methods I use see my ‘about’ page here.