Check out our frequently asked questions below. Please reach out if you have a question of your own and we'll do our best to research it for you.
Q: What is fair trade?
While there is no universally accepted detailed definition of fair trade, in general it refers to the practice of operating a business so that all of the workers in the production chain - from farmer to factory worker - are rewarded justly for their work and treated with dignity and respect. This means fair wages, a safe and open work environment, and minimal impact on the natural environment.
Q: What is organic?
The majority of the cotton we use is organic; which means that no pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, or other harmful substances are used to grow our cotton. Our small family farms use natural pesticides - like ladybugs and growing corn stalks at the end of each row of cotton. You can read more about our organic Peruvian Pima cotton here.
Learn more: https://www.fairindigo.com/blogs/news/0-0005
Q: What is Pima cotton?
Pima is an ELS (extra long staple) cotton. It's significantly softer, stronger, and longer-lasting that other cottons. It beautifully resists pilling, shrinking, and disintegrating in your laundry.
Thanks to ideal growing conditions, extra-long staple length and hand harvesting, Peruvian pima cotton is the world’s finest, prized for its exceptional durability, softness and brilliant luster.
Q: What is Tanguis cotton?
The story of Tanguis cotton began in 1901 with Fermin Tanguis, an innovative agriculturalist, who sought to save the cotton industry in Peru from a devastating cotton blight. After a decade of experimentation, Tangüis had a resounding breakthrough with the successful development of a superior extra long staple, white cotton that grows an incredible six times per year (most cottons grow on an annual cycle) and requires far less water. Tanguis cotton is highly desirable for its combination of eco-friendly benefits and luxury appeal. Its exceptionally strong fibers make it ideal for sweater knits.
Q: Is alpaca organic?
Our alpaca roam freely through the remote Peruvian highlands, grazing on the natural grasses of the Andes. While there is no organic certification for alpaca, the animals live a chemical-free life and are sheered by local families who have been herding them for centuries. Learn more about the alpaca co-op we work with: https://vimeo.com/115282113
Learn more: https://www.fairindigo.com/blogs/news/baby-alpaca-no-babies-involved
Q: Are your products GOTS certified?
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a textile production certification that limits the use of toxic bleaches, dyes, and other harmful chemicals during the production process of textiles. GOTS certification is recognized world-wide as the highest standards to ensure the organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing all the way to labelling in order to provide credible assurance to the consumer. Our organic cotton is GOTS certified. We do not have GOTS certification yet for all steps of the production process. Because we work with small workshops and the cost of GOTS certification at workshop level is extremely high, we cannot have a blanket GOTS certification on all of our products.
Learn more: https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html
Q: Why don’t you use natural dyes?
As we explored natural dye options, we learned there are good reasons why they have not been widely adopted, even among brands trying to produce the most earth-friendly clothing they can, like us.
Natural dyes, on their own, don’t hold their color. As an example, if we used blueberry by-product to achieve a deep purple color, after a couple of washes, the garment’s color would be less deep, less purple. After several washes, it would be purplish-white. Not what most people are looking for.
There are adhesives that can be applied to the natural dyes to get them to be more colorfast, but those chemicals are so harsh it really negates the whole point.
Learn more: https://www.fairindigo.com/blogs/news/lets-talk-earth-friendly-dyes
Q: Are your dyes chemical free?
While our dyes are not chemical free, we use the gold standard for safe dyes. Standard 100 by Oeko-tex is one of the worlds' best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. Oeko-tex certified means our products are tested for things like Azo colorants. Formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, and hundreds more dangerous substances. Every individual is different and we can't guarantee that if you have sensitivities to dye substances, our clothing with work for you. But we have definitely heard from several customers who say it does work for them.
Learn more: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/our-standards/standard-100-by-oeko-tex
Q: I've experienced color loss with some of your products over time.
Here is a website that explains reasons for fabric discoloration - they list several types of things that could cause color loss - "Color loss is most often related to some type of strong chemical contact with products such as chlorine bleach, benzoyl peroxide (commonly used in skin care products), suntan lotion, and many household cleaners. Any chemical with high acidity (antiperspirants, soda, juice, hair spray) or alkalinity (toothpaste, perspiration) is likely to cause color loss. Unfortunately, the damage is almost always irreversible."
Learn more: http://www.qualitycleanersinc.com/when-stains-are-actually-discolorations/
Q: Why do you use Spandex in some of your T-shirts?
We use 3-5% spandex in some of our fabrics, including our most popular and best selling line of t-shirts. Spandex adds comfort and shape retention and many consumers want these benefits in their clothing. We do have a large collection of clothing that contains only cotton for those who wish to avoid spandex.
If you prefer all cotton, here is a link to our 100% cotton collection: https://www.fairindigo.com/collections/100-cotton-women
Q: Why do you offer leather goods? Leather isn't ethical.
We do carry a small collection of carefully screened leather products. All of the leather we carry are bi-products of animals that have been used for food. The jobs created by making these bi-products into sellable goods are creating opportunities for workers in communities who otherwise had few options.
While we may not love the idea of using animal products for clothing, this is certainly a way to make the goods people want in a better way.
Q: Why do you also sell your products on Amazon?
Amazon allows small businesses like us to be competitive with other companies on the internet and it also brings a new audience to our products. We've made the decision to trust that as an industry leader, Amazon will continue to improve its business practices -- consumers will absolutely demand it. And we'll continue to share feedback with Amazon and push them to improve and appreciate it when our customers do the same for us.