From the Ground Up
SOME MAY HAVE bad memories of buying that first car. For others, recollections of purchasing a bum computer, house or even a bottle of weight-loss pills could be what’s causing all those late-night anxiety attacks. A broken guarantee here, a promise fallen through there, and suddenly all that’s left is a car repair bill in the thousands and lingering doubts that the dusty ten-speed bike can make it to the office.
In much the same way, when it comes to organic apparel, distributors may be feeling the familiar, nervous discomfort of worrying about a guarantee. The demand for eco-friendly organics is growing greater and greater, but it’s coming at a time when product liability is also the highest it’s ever been. With the recent problems and concerns over product safety, it’s only logical to assume distributors should extend the caution given to drinkware or children’s toys to organic apparel as well. Unfortunately, verifying a product as organic may be more complicated than avoiding buying a lemon, or even checking drinkware for lead. That’s not to say that verification is impossible, however. A little research and diligence can go a long way to making sure an order intended as organic apparel isn’t actually a heap of old tires liberally coated in BPA.
Like knowing a car’s mileage-to-engine-death ratio, or what percentage of a home was built on Indian burial grounds, being aware of what is and isn’t organic can help prevent a lot of future agony. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) gives the legal definition of organic crops as follows:
• Land must have no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop.
• Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations and cover crops, supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials.