Meet the Fabrics
Behind every fabric is a story of people and place–get to know ours here!
Farmer-Owned & Operated Organic Cotton
In 2018, we drove across the country to meet the people who grew and milled the fiber that is now Ebb Filters. It was important to us to use the cleanest cotton possible–no insecticides, no pesticides, no GMO seeds–and to understand how organic cotton labor has changed in this country, never forgetting the cotton industry was built on the backs of enslaved people.
Our fiber is grown in Texas by approximately 40 producer members of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC). These farmers, many of them too small to find a market on their own, combine their harvest each year and the TOCMC does the work of getting the word out, finding designers and manufacturers to turn fiber into organic goods. The TOCMC and its members are certified organic under the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA-NOP). Each bale of cotton marketed by TOCMC is tracked from the field to the customer. Get to know the TOCMC even better with this video by Patagonia.
From Texas the fiber is milled into yarn then made into fabric in South Carolina. We’ll be honest–at the scale that we’re producing, no mill wants to talk to us! Without the support of a key player in woven organic textiles, it never would have happened. Mills that use to run 3 shifts per day are now down to one. Very few mills are able to stay in operation this way. For us, growing Ebb means supporting this industry and the people who are willing to be key players in a new textile industry.
why organic cotton?
•No toxic chemicals are used in the growing of organic cotton. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides.
•Promotes healthier soil, has less impact on the air, uses less water and less energy compared to conventional cotton.
•Keeps farmers, farmer workers and their communities safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply.
•Has the potential to lessen the impact of global warming and create safer working conditions for farm workers.
Family-Owned Upcycled Denim
Typically the larger a company gets, the more waste they produce. This isn't just a scale thing. It becomes a cost-of-time thing. Most of the time it’s cheaper to throw it in the trash than it is to use it. Our new denim partner found a way to keep fabric out of landfills, at least in Guatemala.
The New Denim Project takes scraps from denim production, shreds them into fiber, and re-spins that fiber with a small amount of new cotton to create a variety of textiles. Their circular manufacturing process is chemical-free, dye-free and uses minimal water and energy. During their operation, they do not utilize any synthetic fibers, making their fabrics 100% natural and biodegradable. Their upcycled natural textiles are created within a closed-loop system where all material is transformed into one of higher value and utility.
Why Upcycled Cotton?
•Keeps materials in circulation reducing need for new raw material.
•Reduces carbon emissions, water, and energy usage.
•Waste from the upcycling process is donated to coffee-growers for use as compost to grow specialty coffee in the highlands of Guatemala.