Organic, Eco-Friendly, and Fibershed

Certifications are very helpful in understanding the environmental and social impact of the products we use. There are two primary standards used by the yarn industry. Below is a summary of the standards used on products we carry with links to the full standards if you seek more in-depth information.

Keep in mind that while these standards are very valuable, they are expensive. Smaller businesses may observe these practices but not be able to afford to be certified. We at Black Squirrel Yarns are very interested in supporting small business, especially those with a commitment to eco-friendly practices even if they don’t have the means to be certified.


Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)


GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. GOTS certified final products may include fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, home textiles, mattresses, personal hygiene products, as well as food contact textiles and more.

Having one common standard means textile processors and manufacturers can export their fabrics and garments with one organic certification that is accepted in all major markets. This transparency also gives consumers the power to choose truly organic products sourced from green supply chains.

The key features:

  • Items labeled as “made with organic fiber” must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fiber. Items labeled as organic must contain a minimum of 95% organic fiber.
  • Organic agriculture promotes healthy ecosystems, soil, and people to lower the environmental impact of production while sustaining human and animal health.
  • Governs all stages of the processing and manufacturing process including the use of low toxin substances to dye and treat the fibers and the treatment of all wastewater and effluents.
  • Governs the labor in all GOTS facilities including the right to collectively bargain and work without discrimination or harassment while earning a livable wage.
  • Third party certified.
  • Considered the highest organic standard in the world.




OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 is a label for textiles tested for harmful substances. It sets the benchmark for textile safety, from yarn to finished product. Every item bearing the STANDARD 100 label is certified as having passed safety tests for the presence of harmful substances.

  • The certified article is harmless to human health
  • Every thread, button and accessory have been tested against a list of over 1,000 harmful substances
  • The more intensive the skin contact, the stricter the human ecology requirements and laboratory tests 
  • We use globally standardised test criteria 
  • The certification complies with international requirements and regulations
  • We review our limit values for harmful substances at least once a year

OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 is not an organic standard. It tests the final product. This is important for the end user, but it doesn’t speak to labor, farming, or animal health practices.




Fibershed is a non-profit organization that develops regional fiber systems that build ecosystem and community health. Our work expands opportunities to implement climate benefitting agriculture, rebuild regional manufacturing, and connect end-users to the source of our fiber through education. We transform the economic systems behind the production of material culture to mitigate climate change, improve health, and contribute to racial and economic equity.

Fibershed was started in California by Rebecca Burgess. There are now dozens of affiliates across the US and around the world, each one promoting their own regional fiber system.