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New program promotes using organic t-shirts for marketing

OTA members get discount on T-shirts produced using strict organic processing standards

Barbara Haumann
(802) 275-3820
Washington , DC
September 16, 2014
) — 

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) wants to prove that doing good can be a win-win deal for everyone involved. In a new partnership with sustainable fashion manufacturer MetaWear, OTA is encouraging its members to promote their businesses, brands and causes on custom-printed organic, eco-friendly t-shirts, and support their trade association at the same time.

Under the partnership, OTA members get a 10 percent discount on screen-printed organic cotton t-shirts produced by MetaWear that meet the rigorous requirements of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) governing textile processing. In return, MetaWear will donate a portion of the sales collected to OTA.

Launching the program during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore this week, OTA will distribute 200 t-shirts custom made to highlight OTA’s Sept. 17 Annual Awards Celebration to be held as part of OTA activities there.

“We are very excited to offer this innovative opportunity for our members and to promote the use of GOTS-certified organic cotton products to further the cause for ecologically and responsibly processed textiles,” says OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha.

GOTS is a voluntary standard that covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70 percent certified organic natural fibers (such as organic cotton, organic wool, and organic silk). As with organic food standards, a textile product carrying the GOTS organic label must contain a minimum of 95 percent certified organic fibers, while a product with the ‘made with organic’ label must contain a minimum of 70 percent certified organic fibers.

“We’re on our way to revolutionizing the textile industry, one t-shirt at a time,” says Marci Zaroff, ECO-fashion pioneer and Founder of MetaWear, explaining the company applies strict standards as provided under GOTS at every step of production to reduce its carbon footprint and promote conscious consumption. For example, its screen-printing process uses a proprietary seaweed-based dye instead of chemicals, and the company’s solar-powered factory in Fairfax, VA, operates using a zero-waste production process to minimize its ecological impact.

As consumers seek more ecologically and responsibly processed textiles, more companies are becoming GOTS certified. According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2014 Organic Industry Survey, fiber, for the second year in a row, is the largest non-food organic category in terms of sales, reaching $960 million in 2013. U.S. organic fiber product sales were up 16 percent over those in 2012. Apparel is the leading segment, followed by household textiles and baby products.

OTA members may contact Tracy Campany, OTA’s Development and Operations Project Coordinator, for more details.

With a commitment to ethical production, certified organic fibers and renewable energy, MetaWear aims to be the nation’s leading sustainable fashion manufacturer and turnkey solution for stylish “Made-in-the-USA,” GOTS-certified, screen-printed and dyed t-shirts and other custom goods.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.