Q&A Organic and Fair
Frequently asked questions about Origamo and Responsible Fashion... and our answers:
What do you mean by Organic clothing and Organic polo?
We call it Organic clothing, when a garment is made of a fabric itself made of an Organic raw material, typically Organic Cotton.
In practice, this means that the basic raw material is grown with production methods respecting farming standards, environmental protection, and animal welfare.
In the textile sector, the Organic standards currently applies to the following raw materials: cotton, silk, linen, and wool.
Instead of relying heavily on tillage and the use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers, the Organic production system is based on using biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions.
The end result is a much more sustainable production system, which enriches the soil and supports ecosystems, and is much healthier for the people involved at every level, from the farmers to the end customers.
Not all Organic certification systems are created equal, and at Origamo we only rely on some of the most demanding national farming standards, including the American USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and the European Regulation (EC) 834/2007 related to organic products.
For instance, the Organic Pima Cotton used in the Origamo Pacific Polo collection complies both with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) rules and with the European rules.
More information about the USDA NOP and the EU Organic regulations can be found at:
Does Origamo care about chemicals and dyes?
First, at Origamo we think that the use of Organic raw materials is a very important step, because it sets the production process on the right track.
Indeed, the protagonists of the Organic sector naturally have a strong tilt toward quality, care for the environment and the people.
However the use of Organic materials alone is not always enough.
If not well managed, the additive chemicals applied on the fibers downstream in the production process, especially in the dyeing operations, can be:
- Harmful for the local and global environment.
- Harmful for the skin and health of the people wearing the clothing.
This is why the yarn used to make the Pacific Polo collection has been dyed by one of our partners which is both GOTS certified and OEKOTEX class I certified.
GOTS: The Global Organic Textile Standard is one of the most demanding international processing standards for textiles made from certified organically produced raw materials.
OEKOTEX: The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is a worldwide consistent and independent test and certification system for the absence of harmful substances for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels.
For us this is a strong commitment to awareness and control of the chemicals used to produce our garments, and especially to avoidance of harmful substances in the product dyes. It also means that the factory has an efficient waste management process for the chemical scraps.
More information about the standards can be found at:
- What does Fair mean in Organic and Fair?
First it means that the brand wants to be fair to its customers. This means delivering great products with the expected quality. We want to be able to stand proudly for all Origamo apparel.
By the way if you have met our Founder Nicolas, he was probably wearing his favorite Origamo Pacific Polo.
The second essential meaning of Fair apparel at Origamo, is being fair to the people working hard to make Origamo products. In the ready to wear industry the weakest link is usually what takes place in the manufacturing factories, what are called the Cut Make Trim units.
At Origamo we base our definition of acceptable working conditions on the Code of Labour Practices from the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). The FWF is a multi-national non-profit organization that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories.
This code is based on 8 labor standards derived from the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions and the United Nation (UN)’s Declaration on Human Rights.Here are the code’s 8 basic principles:
- Employment is freely chosen
- There is no discrimination in employment
- No exploitation of child labor
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- Payment of a living wage
- Reasonable hours of work
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- Legally binding employment relationship
The International Labor Organization website and more detailed explanations of the Fair Wear Foundation labor standards can be found here:
These eight principles from the Fair Wear Foundation describe the model world to strive for, and to enforce.
In practice we have set up a pragmatic and result oriented due diligence process to verify good working conditions in our partner factories.
This Fair Fashion assessment method combines on-site visits to the off-shore factories, office due diligence, and equally important, the establishment of open, strong, and durable business relations with our manufacturing partners.
In the Fair Clothing is NOT option section of this website we talk with more detail about how we practically work to manage to produce Ethical Fashion products.
- Origamo is about Fashion or about Values?
The answer is actually both.
Indeed at Origamo we commit ourselves to designing great clothing for our customers, to making them exclusively with Organic fabrics and Healthy materials, and to finding manufacturing factories with Fair labor conditions.
It is fundamental that these three pillars are equally weighted in the process, none of them can be substituted for the other, as all are essential. The Organic and Fair values are completely embedded in Origamo apparel.
Is it hard to make Organic and Fair apparel?
Today, yes it is. Tomorrow, we hope that it won’t, thanks to labels like Origamo.
As sad as it sounds, in the current apparel industry landscape, producing garments with good quality fabrics, non-harmful chemicals, free of abusive labor practices, is far from a given.
These criteria must be proactively chosen, enforced, and controlled.
The purpose and the wish of labels like Origamo is to change this situation for the better.
We want our positive corporate culture to be the foundation for a return to quality products that are sustainable for the planet and that benefit all the people involved in the production at any level.
It is the message that our clients send when choosing Origamo products.
When buying an Origamo Organic and Fair Polo you choose to do things the right way from day one, not too late when everything falls apart.
The possibility to choose should be a fundamental consumer right, one which we present to you right now.
- Where is the Pacific Polo produced?
The Pacific Polo collection is made entirely in Peru, from the Organic Pima cotton farming up to the Polo manufacturing.
The Peruvian Pima used for these Polos is a very specific cotton species that grows exclusively on the Northern Pacific coast of Peru. We buy it there from a cooperative based company which gathers production from small farmers.The different production sites for yarn dyeing and polo manufacturing are located near the capital city Lima, and we went on site to visit and check them.
- Will Origamo always produce in Peru?
No this is not our goal, however it is very likely that other designs will come from there.
First, because we love this colorful and joyful country.
Then, as previously explained in the section about Fashion and Values, an Origamo product represents the union of a design, an Organic fabric or material, and a production chain matching our responsible fashion requirements.
This kind of coordination is challenging to set up, but we already made it in Peru, and that’s why it is very likely that additional designs will also be sourced there.However, the Origamo concept is global and we are searching worldwide for opportunities to develop new high quality Organic and Fair clothing.
Something is missing? Ask us at contact@OrigamoApparel.com