I recently bought new towels. It had been about 15 years since I last bought some so let me assure you, this purchase was WAY overdue.
Thankfully thanks to my research I knew exactly where to go to buy the most sustainable, ethical towels in my price range to suit our taste.
If you want to find just the right ones for you and yours read on.
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but before you do ….. let me remind you of a golden rule in sustainability. Only buy if you absolutely need to. We need to use as few resources as necessary if we’ve any hope of avoiding climate chaos.
And if you must buy, consider buying smaller towels. We’ve switched from bath towels to hand towels, which cuts down laundry dramatically and work just as well.
I do love the fact that you can simply put a 100% cotton towel in the composter at the end of it’s life. If I had more faith in recycling I would suggest putting it in a clothes bin so it can be made into new fabric, but at the moment I don’t think this is very likely.
Why I haven’t included bamboo towels
Quite a few eco shops sell bamboo towels but I’ve decided not to list them because although bamboo is a fast growing renewable crop that doesn’t require as much land, pesticides or water as cotton, it’s conversion of the bamboo plant to fabric is a dirty business chemically speaking and the is only grown on the far side of the world.
Some people will argue that the water demands of cotton makes it unsustainable and if you’re only getting a few years out of your towels I’d agree but I would expect quality towels to last 15-20 years and so spread over this life-span I feel that the water required to grow the cotton is reasonable.
So if your towels are getting to the end of their life and need replacing. Here’s where you can source your next set of organic cotton towels from.
Note: Not all of the companies listed here offer independently certified organic cotton. I’ve included them all the same, but just make sure you’re not paying a premium price for non-certified organic cotton – by rights it should be cheaper.
- White and Green (Ireland)
- Arnotts (Ireland). Although the Vossen range doesn’t clearly state it’s organic cotton on the Arnotts website, a reader informed me that this is what’s listed on the label of the towels they bought.
- Fou Furnishings (Scotland)
- Little Leaf Organics (UK)
- Traidcraft (UK)
- Arc Lore (UK – Turkish Towels)
- King of Cotton (UK)
- Dip and Doze (UK)
- The Natural Store (UK)
- Green Fibres (UK)
- Natural Collection (UK)
- Fab Organics (UK)
- La Redoute (UK)
- The Fine Cotton Company (UK)
- The Ethical Superstore (UK)
- Ecosophy (UK – organic cotton towels handwoven by a conglomerate of self-help groups in rural India. Dyed white using low-impact dyes)
- Dojo Eco (UK – fairtrade undyed organic cotton towels)
- The Natural Bed Company (UK – e-tailer)
- Utility Great Britain (UK – recycled cotton)
- The Organic Company (Denmark)
- Living Crafts (Germany)
- Gudrun sjoden (Germany)
- Pure Nature (Germany, colourful and well-priced)
- Ferm Living (Sweden)