Garment maker Ustrive Manufacturing become the first vertical clothing producer in North America to be certified to both the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Textile Exchange’s Organic Content Standard (OCS), the world’s two leading organic textile standards. The company enables brands to meet organic criteria throughout their entire supply chain from cut and sew to dyeing, finishing, screen printing, embroidering, packaging and storage – all within 12 miles in Los Angeles.
GOTS includes both environmental and social provisions from post-harvest to retail shelf management, addressing all the processing stages – ginning, spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing – of products containing 70-100 per cent organic fibre. OCS verifies that five to 100 per cent of the raw fiber in the product was grown to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Programme crop or livestock standards, no matter where in the world it was grown or raised.
Scott Wilson, Ustrive founder and partner, said: “The GOTS certification process took over eight months to complete and included a complete retooling of our dyeing, printing and packaging methods in order to meet the standard’s stringent non-toxic chemical requirements. “At the same time, we chose to have OCS certification because it allows us to offer a broader range of organic fibre-based fabrics for our customers to choose from.”
Ustrive is four companies vertically integrated into one: Tour Image, Jin Clothing, Care-Tex Industries and S&B Printing and Embroidery, all of which are well established in the local apparel industry.
Tour Image specialises in sales and design development, Jin Clothing is a family owned private-label apparel manufacturer, Care-Tex Industries is a dye and finishing facility that uses water-based low impact GOTS certified organic dyes, and S&B Printing specialises in nontoxic, water-based printing and embroidery.
Ustrive also partners with nearby Laguna Fabrics – the first US knitter to gain GOTS certification – for its organic fabrics.
It also prides itself on paying its workers hourly instead of piece rate. It says this ensures higher quality and guarantees its workers a consistent wage which works out about 25 per cent higher than the wages paid by similar knitwear contractors in Los Angeles.