Originally posted February 5, 2020
I absolutely hate when brands greenwash their credentials so I'm careful to not misrepresent my own. But maybe I took it too far because I realized that I have this great ace in my pocket and never bragged about it! The 100% Cotton sweatshirt material that I use in the Vala Oversized Cardigan, the Elin Turtleneck, and the Boyfriend Hoodie is a crazy good fabric!
First of all, I chose it because it feels lovely. It's soft and thick but not weighty. It holds the heat and breathes away sweat. It's the first sweaterknit I've found without any spandex which is a huge bonus! Spandex helps stretchy materials snap back into shape (to have good "regain" in industry jargon) but it's a form of plastic and won't biodegrade like plant-based fibers.
It's also Oeko-Tex certified "Standard 100" which means that it has been rigorously tested for harmful chemicals. This doesn't get talked about often, but some dyes and finishes added while making a fabric may be toxic (like when wrinkle-free fabrics release formaldehyde fumes). Ew gross! Even when fabrics claim to be "organic" (which, to be perfectly clear, I am not claiming) that only means that the fibers were grown organically and any chemicals that get added after are a mystery.
This little certification is a big deal for me. When I first started Wulfka in 2013 there wasn't a scrap of natural fiber to be found. One fabric rep said to me, "Everyone wears polyester!" and I said "MY customer doesn't!" And now, because of you majestically well-informed and eco-conscious consumers, better options are available every year for small designers like me. I mean, come on! Oeko-Tex certified? It's seriously a dream come true!
Want to learn more about eco-friendly and ethical certifications? Here's a pretty good roundup from my favorite ecofashion blogger Ecocult. (Check out her "Weekend Reading" lists. They are an absolute treasure trove.).