During summer 2013, one of our lingerie suppliers in China initiated the process of certifying one of their factories that is used to manufacture organic cotton. This certification is necessary in order to work with and produce products that are marked with an organic label in stores.
The process means that part of the factory is set aside and used only for organic cotton materials. This helps ensure that non-organic materials are kept out of the production process. There are requirements stating that the reserved area must be kept clean and well organized. Employees at the office and in the factory are interviewed in depth and they obtain thorough training on organic cotton by the certification company. They are also given a theory test after completing training to ensure that they have the appropriate level of competence.
After completing the certification process, the production unit receives a certificate that allows them to manufacture organic cotton products for a period of one year. After that, a new audit is required.
The certification process for our supplier took just over three months to complete and it cost approximately USD 5,000. Our first organic cotton lingerie items will be available in stores in January 2014.