Welcome To DSL Toys Ltd winners of The Ethical Gift of the Year 2020

Organic

 

What does ‘Organic’ mean?

Simply stated, organic produce are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Therefore an organic soft toy is one that has been produced with organic fabrics which can include cotton, hemp, silk or wool.

The organic toys produced by DSL are usually made out of organic cotton. Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton, grown from non-genetically modified plants without the use of the chemicals addatives mentioned above. 

How is this done? Farmers use composted manures and cover-crops to replace synthetic fertilizers. Innovative weeding strategies are used instead of herbicides. Beneficial insects and trap-crops are used to control pests.

A recent addition to the type of organic fabric used by DSL is corn fabric. This is the world's first man-made fiber using a 100% annually renewable resource - corn.  It is not only a renewable resource but also a biodegradable resource. 

Growing organically takes more time, requires more knowledge and skill and at least for now, costs a bit more. But it is worth it since it doesn't contain any hidden costs to our environment. 

Why Organic?

  1. For reasons of health:

So what's the problem with standard cotton?

Standard cotton ranks second for most pesticides use of all crops 

The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton as "possible," "likely," "probable," or "known" human carcinogens. Babies are at a higher risk due to their low immune system and their tendency to suck on or lick the toy whiles playing.

  1. To protect the environment:

Cotton growers who make the transition to biologically based growing practices expect not only to offer a healthier and cleaner product but also to benefit the planet. Some of the contributions to the different ecosystems include:

  • Protecting surface and groundwater quality because of the elimination of contaminants in surface runoff. 
  • Reduced risk insects and disease control by replacing insecticide with the manipulation of ecosystems. 
  • Long-term prevention of pests through beneficial habitat planting.
  • Conservation of biodiversity. 
  • Organically grown crops also yield soils with higher organic matter content, thicker topsoil depth, higher polysaccharide content and lower modulus of rupture, therefore reducing soil erosion.  
  1. For reasons of fair trade:

Standard cotton is cheaper than organic cotton. This statement is only true if we disregard the hidden costs of standard cotton cultivation. The hidden costs are the price the local community pays to fight for example the pollution of the environment and waters.

Organic Fabric Dyes

Organic cotton fabric in its natural forms is an off - white color but with the use of organic fabric dyes any color required by our customers can be obtained whilst maintaining the organic nature of the fabric. All the dyes used on the organic fabrics have been tested and registered with the Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigments Manufacturers (ETAD). Through the testing of these dyes ETAD’s goal is to minimize any possible adverse impact of organic colorants on health and the environment.

Organic Certifications 

To ensure consumer confidence and to confirm your integrity, it is important to be able to back up claims made about the sustainability of your products. Therefore in order to ensure a product is ‘organic’ producers must go through an organic certification process.

DSL Toys sources all of its organic cotton fabric from Sri Lanka and India. These mills have been certified by the Control Union World Group. The Control Union World Group has thorough knowledge and experience of various relevant standards and certification schemes in the global textiles markets. The different regulations cover all aspects of organic textiles production, from raw materials growth and harvesting, through processing, manufacture, the use of dyes and processing aids, labeling and, where applicable, recycling.

Additionally DSL Toys itself has been certified by the Control Union as a certified producer of organic toys and goes through an inspection process each year to renew this certification. Along with this certification, the Control Union also provides a ‘Transaction Certificate’ for each shipment of organic toys. This report is provided after the Control Union inspects the materials used in production and it acts as an additional form of assurance to our customers about the organic nature of our products.

Some of the standards approved by the Control Union include: 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
This standard for organic textiles covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibers.

 

Organic Exchange Certification
Organic Exchange certification is the cotton industry’s answer to growing consumer demands for responsible and sustainable organic cotton cultivation and blended yarn production.

Supply of Dyes and Processing Aids
Supply of Dyes and Processing Aids is an assessment procedure derived from the GOTS and is aimed specifically at producers of dyes and processing aids, prints and auxiliaries.

The main points of attention during inspections of a processing plant by the Control Union include:

  • Origin of organic raw materials; certificates.
  • Storage of organic raw materials; separation and indication of organic and conventional raw materials.
  • Recipe of organic products in case of mixing raw materials.
  • Description of processing procedures and methods; separation organic/conventional processing.
  • Storage, conservation, conditioning of ready products, separation and indication of organic/conventional finished products.
  • Packing materials and labelling of organic products.
  • Cleaning procedures in processing plant.
  • Quantitative verification of accounts and results (comparison of purchase and sales), bookkeeping system, invoices, weighing, tags and labels.

Social aspects

Control Union Certification's contracting partners are also expected to make a social pledge, setting out their social commitments to society. Being highly dependent upon current factors in the surroundings and upon individual priorities, the contents of a social statement will be unique to the company concerned. 

Some of the social commitments expected by the Control Union include:

  • Discrimination (ban on discrimination in profession and in conducting business, equal pay for equal work, and the like).
  • The availability of drinking water.
  • Forced or compulsory labor, to be banned.
  • Child labor/protection of young children and adolescents.
  • Medical facilities (e.g. accessibility, health insurance policies).