Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community

Organic Textiles

Coconut leaves woven for roofing purposes of a traditional Fijian home called the ‘bure’

Organic textiles are based on materials grown on organic farms, and manufactured without harmful chemicals.

If you’re seeking environmentally friendly clothing or home ware, textiles that are certified as organic it means that both the production of the fibre on the farm, and the processing of this fibre into textiles has met organic standards. 

Inside of a traditional ‘bure’

Organic textiles don’t contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals so benefits carry through from local wildlife, animals and people through to the culture of communities and the home environment where the end products are used.

While the most common organic textiles, cotton and wool are not produced in the Pacific, Pacific Island communities have proud traditions of organic textiles made from coconut, local grasses, pandanus and various plants that are used in art, craft and everyday life.Many of these textiles make practical and attractive gifts for people who have visited pacific islands. With a little care they can be taken home to countries with tight quarantine conditions.

Traditional tapa used at functions such as weddings

Tapa cloth is a popular organic material produced from the bark of paper mulberry tree and used in a range of decorative products and also clothing.  Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji are some of the pacific nations that are noted for their use of Tapa.

The Marshall Islands, Cook Islands and many other pacific countries have highly developed designs for bags and fans both from natural palm and other leaves using traditional organic processing methods.

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