We live in a society in which the economic model is based on unlimited growth from limited resources. It does not take a scientist to understand that the way we consume and live is fundamentally unsustainable. As we begin to see the effects of our way of life in the natural world it is essential that we take responsibility of reducing our impact so that our beautiful world is still intact for future generations to enjoy. It is important to point out that Gnarly Tree Clothing is not the saviour of the world from climate change, however, we believe that by making small changes in what and how we buy we can begin to live in a more sustainable way. From the choice of fibres to packaging and logistics we aim to make purchasing an item of our clothing as ethical and sustainable as possible. With this in mind we source our clothes from manufacturers who scrutinise every part of their production process.
Our manufacturers meet GOTS, OE and OE 100 standards. What does this all mean? Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain, including restricting the use of chemical substances and requiring compliance with social criteria.
The fabrication process promotes low-energy consumption machines and renewably generated power. Our manufacturers find alternative uses for all by-products. For example, the waste created during the sewing stage is recycled in home textile. Nothing is wasted.
OE Blended applies to all goods that contain a mix of organic cotton and any other material. The OE 100 tracks the purchase, handling and use of 100% certified organic cotton fibres in yarns, fabrics and finished goods through the use of transaction certificates for factories that don’t yet comply to the GOTS standard. The washing/ dyeing/finishing of our clothes also conform to GOTS standards and OEKO TEX 100.
Gnarly Tree Clothing receives all its products in recyclable cardboard boxes. Our manufacturers' collaboration with Katoen Natie means their low energy warehouses are 100% solar powered. Sea-shipments are also promoted which are less polluting than road and air-shipments.
When we receive the products we only use solvent free, water based inks to hand print our original designs here on the south coast. Most garment printing uses plastisol inks, which are easy to use and last well. However, plastisol inks contain PVC and phthalates that are harmful to the environment and have been linked to numerous medical disorders. Plastisol inks also require the use of harmful solvents in the cleaning process.
Water based inks do not contain PVC or phthalates and you don't need solvents to clean the screens down after they've been used - you can clean them with water.
The inks we use do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFC's and HCFC's, aromatic hydrocarbons or any volatile solvents. They don't contain lead, heavy metals or any toxic chemicals whatsoever (not even white spirits like other water based inks on the market). Permaset Aqua textile inks passed the Oekotex Class 1 standard. The inks we use have also been granted approval by the Soil Association, having successfully met the requirements of the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for non-organic chemical inputs for use in organic textile processing.
Tencel is man-made fibre created from cellulose in wood pulp, which is harvested from tree-farmed trees. Cellulose is the natural polymer that makes up the living cells of all vegetation. The tree farms have been established on land unsuitable for food crops or grazing and are managed in way which allows for sustainable harvests.
The fibre is produced via an advanced 'closed loop' solvent spinning process, with minimal impact on the environment and economical use of energy and water. The solvent used in the process is toxic but 99% is recovered and continually recycled. Production plant emissions are also significantly lower in comparison to many other man-made fibre operations.
Another benefit to the closed loop process used to manufacture lyocell fibre is that it does not require bleach, which is commonly used in the production of other fabrics. Tencel/lyocell products contain no free chlorine and are sold as "TCF - products". The European Union awarded this process the Environmental Award 2000 in the category "technology for sustainable developments". Tencel products not only look and feel fantastic but they are also fully biodegradable.