What is the difference between our standard range and Fairtrade & Organic range?

  • 8th October 2020

Over the past few years, we have expanded our ranges to give you more choice for eco bags.

One range that we’re always excited about is the Fairtrade and Organic collection. With consumer habits changing and eco-consciousness entering the mind of so many of us we wanted to offer our clients the option of the most ethically sourced bags, zip purses and textile homewares.

A question we get asked a lot is what is the difference between bags made from ‘standard’ cotton and bags made from Fairtrade and Organic cotton?

First let’s talk about the two certifications separately- Fairtrade and GOTS

Fairtrade is synonymous with many products we use every day. From Bananas, to chocolate, to coffee, we are all aware that if the product has a Fairtrade label on, our mind is put at ease that it has been sourced responsibly and the farmers and producers involved are looked after.

But what about Fairtrade certified cotton?  Farmers get a guaranteed price for their crop. The Fairtrade Foundation ensures the price does not fall below the amount it costs the farmers to grow the cotton. This empowers the farmers to be able to plan to improve the lives of their families and develop their communities.

An estimated 300 million people work in the cotton sector when family labour, farm labour and workers in ancillary services such as transportation, ginning, baling, and storage are considered, this is a massive amount of people. And when you take into consideration how prevalent cotton is in everyday life, the Fairtrade foundation’s work is life changing.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), is a set of standards that guarantees a textile product is made from natural organic fibres.

As well as the material, GOTS also addresses the other chemicals and processes within the supply chain. For a product to have the GOTS label, the whole process must be audited by them.

For BIDBI to receive the GOTS accredited- we had to follow the rigorous GOTS criteria. In doing so we had to assure that our whole supply chain, from the cotton farming, material dying and weaving, right up to the water processing, inks, and cleaning supplies in our Sheffield factory are organic.

The GOTS criteria exists in order to protect our environment from harmful practices, guarantee safe working conditions, protect workers, and to safeguard against child labour. 

Organic cotton is a better choice as it combats climate change, saves water, helps the farmers and individuals involved, eliminates hazardous pesticides.

Our Fairtrade & GOTS organic range is made from cotton that has both these certifications, this makes this range, arguably, the most ecological range of bags on the market.

Our other products, which don’t carry the Certified Fairtrade cotton label or GOTS accreditation, are all sourced responsibly from factories which are Fairtrade certified and are members of SEDEX. Although the cotton is not Fairtrade or Organic, there are still safeguards in place to protect workers and their rights and meet environmental standards.

To sum up, the difference between our Fairtrade & Organic products and our standard product range is the origin of the cotton used to produce the bag. All our bags are produced in factories that are ethically and environmentally sound even if you choose a non-Fairtrade & Organic product. The high quality of the cotton we use is never compromised, and the print on the bag will be equally as good on Fairtrade & Organic as it is on our standard cotton range.