Cloth pads and pantyliners from Kulmine are sustainable and environment-friendly alternatives for disposables.
A woman uses approximately 10 000 to 17 000 pads or tampons throughout her whole life when sticking to conventional products. Many women use pantyliners on top of that on a regular basis. Those disposables are not only creating big piles of waste, their production process harms the environment as well. Disposables mainly consist of cellulose-based fibres, conventionally produced cotton and viscose as well as plastic. The extraction of these materials is very wasteful:
Cotton and cellulose production consumes large amounts of water, energy and chemicals; conventional plastic material is a product of crude oil, a limited raw material.
On top of this, conventional cotton production poses a big environmental problem – 25 percent of all worldwide used pesticides are spent in cultivation of cotton. Additionally, these kinds of cultivation methods are increasing the desertification and transform the land within a couple of years to barren areas which cannot be agricultural used anymore.
In contrast, organic material and reusable products save resources and are environment friendly. Therefore it is important to us that Kulmine’s cotton fabrics are certified according to highest ecological standards.
We described the ecological aspects of the fabrics on the page material to some extent, but we would like to explain them in more detail here.
In the textile industry exist more than 100 labels at the present, all of which are bound to different criteria. Some of them have stringent guidelines and are only labelling organic cotton, others can also be found on conventional cotton products. They even differ in which parts of the production chain are controlled.
Some labels are certifying only single steps of the production chain. For example the cotton cultivation is controlled but not the processing of the fibres (e.g. spinning, weaving and the chemical treatment of the fabrics). The well-known Oeko-Tex Standard 100 only certifies the final product itself and states that certain limits of harmful substances, like heavy metals and pesticides haven’t been exceeded. As long as this is the case, the relevant substances can be used in the production chain nonetheless. Social aspects – meaning the working conditions of the cultivation and procession of the cotton – don’t play a role for this certification. Other labels only evaluate the working conditions but not the economical aspects.
Some labels are even co-founded by the industry. It can be seen as a reaction to the increased public awareness of production conditions in the textile industry and the increased demand of ethnically correct produced products. Instead of using already existing labels or seals, new guidelines are developed which often promise improved conditions compared to the conventional textile production but which cannot match the requirements of being an organic agriculture. The journalist Kirsten Brodde, who writes in her book “Saubere Sachen” about organic fashion and the ecological “label fraud”, classifies the increasing development of such kind of labels as a gradual withdrawal from the organic cotton.
As you see, the definition of organic cotton differs quite a bit. Big quality differences exist and the bare existence of a label or seal doesn’t provide much information – the requirements behind them are essential. We decided to go for fabrics that fulfil the most stringent requirements, to ensure you receive an especially precious product.
Kulmine fabrics fulfil not only highest standards in concerns to social aspects but in ecological as well – covering the whole production chain:
- Cotton cultivation
- Production of fabrics
- Sewing of the final product.
- Detailed information about our fabric characteristics can be found in material and production..
Social aspects in the production process are e.g. working hours, health and safety and wages of the workers. Ecological aspects are covering protection of soil and forest, usage of pesticides or artificial fertilizers and water consumption.
On top of that Kulmine pays attention to sustainability in all other production steps, for example in concerns of wrapping and utilization of leftovers.
kbA und kbT
All of our fabrics originate from certified organic cultivation (kbA) and certified organic livestock production (kbT). Those labels are protected within the EU, like the label “organic cotton”. Certain minimum standards need to be fulfilled to be authorized to use these labels – only products from organic cultivation are eligible to do so. However, this only refers to the fibre itself – the processing can be conventional.
IVNBest and GOTS
Those minimum standards are not satisfying for us. That’s why our cotton fabrics are additionally IVN-Best certified. IVN-Best is known as the most stringent eco-standard within the textile industry. Our silk fabric is certified according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS belongs as well to the most stringent labels for textiles. Both labels exceeding the EC ecological regulation and cover the whole production chain in ecological and social aspects.
Concerning the last production step we have the greatest knowledge about the working conditions: We are producing all our Kulmines in Osnabrück in the Teutoburger Forest.
Our products are wrapped in delicate wrapping paper. We ship our products either in directly recycled envelopes and protective bags, in bigger envelopes made out of 100% recycled paper or in clean boxes from our supplier deliveries. We prefer to use paper packaging bands.
Direct-recycling refers to the immediate processing of the used paper as a raw material into new products. The high-quality envelopes and protective bags once were posters, calendars, industrial papers or maps. Contrary to conventional recycling of paper the consumption of water, energy and other processing substances is not necessary. A study of the ecological institute Öko-Institut e. V. declared the directly recycled envelopes and protective bags as “most environment-friendly envelope”.
The bigger envelopes consist of 100% natural white recycled paper with an enforced inlay of polyphenylen fibres, which can be recycled together with used paper. Due to the special material characteristics the fibre enforcement will dissolve during the aqueous recycling process, resulting in a 100% recycling of the base material.
Utilization of leftovers
Our Website is hostet with a sustainable energy concept: 100% renewable energy out of water power. The warming of the servers is used for heating the office space so no other ressources are needed there.
After all, sustainability is one of the core principles of Kulmine. Organic textiles are considered mainstream by now and many well known fashion companies offer organic cotton. You can also find organic pads and tampons in drugstores. We want to drive sustainability further than just switch to organic, we want to reassess our own consumer behaviour and throw-away mentality. That is the reason why we sell high-quality products with a long lifetime. Some of our customers are using their Kulmines over 15 years now. The longevity of our products adds up to resource savings due to a lower amount of new products needed resulting in a further reduction of our environmental footprint.
Thanks to Kulmine fabrics our customers have the possibility to experience the appreciation of their bodies in harmony with nature. We are grateful to contribute to this