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Best Organic Bath Towels: What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Towels

Organic Towels
Written By
Parachute Team
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE
@parachutehome
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While there are near-infinite ways to reduce your carbon footprint, some of the most impactful changes happen right at home. What you buy, how you maintain your belongings and how you dispose of them all matter. On that note, if you're in the market for new bath linens and want something a bit greener than the average set, you might consider going organic.

What's the difference between organic and eco-friendly? Further, what are the best organic towels, and how do you know if organic bath towels you see for sale are legit? Keep reading for answers to these questions, along with helpful guidance on shopping for sustainable home goods.

What Are Organic Bath Towels?

Organic bath towels are sourced from organically grown plants, such as cotton. They typically carry the GOTS® (Global Organic Textile Standard) label, which requires linens to be made of at least 70% organic fibers.  When you buy GOTS-certified organic cotton towels, you know the fibers were grown without synthetic pesticides or GMOs.

What Are Eco-Friendly Bath Towels?

Eco-friendly bath towels are essentially sustainably made bath towels. However, "eco-friendly" and "sustainable" are somewhat broad terms. They could be Oeko-Tex certified, made in a Fair Trade facility or labeled as organic. Bear in mind organic cotton towels are usually considered eco-friendly, but not all eco-friendly towels are organic.

Why Ethical and Sustainable Certifications Matter

Many people consider certified-organic towels to be the most sustainable option. But what makes the GOTS-certified variety the best organic bath towels? Get details about the label and other eco-friendly certifications below.

What Is GOTS?

GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard. The non-profit organization is the world's leading certifier for bath linens and other textiles, including bedding and clothing. Towels with the GOTS label are sourced from plants that meet the strict standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

IFOAM is a global organization representing almost 800 affiliates in upwards of 100 countries, including the Global Organic Textile Standard. In addition to a ban on GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and artificial herbicides, organic farming generally uses less water than conventional agriculture.

Not only that, but the certification ensures each stage of the supply chain adheres to GOTS standards. This includes initial processing, spinning fibers into yarns or threads, weaving or knitting, wet processing, manufacturing and trading.

Is GOTS Legit?

As an independent, third-party organization, the Global Organic Textile Standard gives brands credibility on their offerings while providing consumers with easily identifiable, trustworthy information about the products they buy. The non-profit company also has a designated Certifiers Council, a Standards Committee and regional representatives to ensure relevant and consistent labeling criteria.

Learn more about the certification in our blog, What Is GOTS Certified Organic Cotton?

What Is Oeko-Tex?

Oeko-Tex is a textile label often seen on bath linens, bedding and garments. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 towels are made without chemicals and artificial dyes that could harm the people who use them or the environment. Some of the best organic towels carry this label in addition to a GOTS certification.

For more insight into this certification, see our article, What Is Oeko-Tex Standard 100? Why This Certification Matters

What Is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a label often seen on ethical towels, eco-friendly garments and other sustainable home goods that meet global or national supply-chain standards. When you see the seal, you'll know your bath linens were made by fairly paid and humanely treated workers and produced according to strict environmental and economic criteria.

Want more ideas for going green? Take a look at these 35 Eco-Friendly Home Products for a Sustainable Household.

Best Organic Towels and Eco-Friendly Bath Linens

So, what are the best organic bath towels available today? And what about ethically made or sustainable bath linens that aren't necessarily organic? Here's what to know about each eco-friendly fabric.

Organic Cotton

These Organic Cotton Towels are made of 100% GOTS-certified cotton grown without pesticides and woven at 600 GSM (grams per square meter). The exceptionally absorbent, quick-drying material is supremely soft and fluffy with a subtle pebbled texture.

As some of the best organic towels currently on the market, they're not only GOTS-certified but also carry the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label. This ensures the fabric was made without any harsh colorants or other potentially harmful synthetic chemicals. You can buy a complete organic bath towel set or purchase bath sheets, towels, washcloths and hand towels individually.

Now that you're up to speed on the best organic towels, you might want to explore the best organic bed sheets. Read our article for tips on What to Look for in Organic and Natural Bedding.

Turkish Cotton

Designed with sustainability in mind, our Classic Turkish Cotton Towels are loomed from 100% long-staple cotton fibers sourced from plants grown in Turkey. They're woven at 700 GSM without artificial dyes or chemicals that could harm your health or the ecosystem.

For additional insight, see our blog, What Is Turkish Cotton?

Linen

Towels, robes, bath mats, shower curtains and other bathroom textiles can also be made out of linen. Sourced from fast-growing flax plants (aka linseed), the textile is considered a renewable resource. Fabrics woven from flax fibers grown in Europe are even more eco-friendly because the plants require almost no additional irrigation beyond what they get from annual rainfall.

Learn more in our articles:

Why Is European Linen the Best in the World?

Linen: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer

Cotton-Linen Blend

If you can't get your hands on bath towels made of organic cotton, you might consider sustainable Spa Towels. They're woven from 44% linen sourced from European flax plants and 56% long-staple cotton fibers grown in Turkey.

The result? A light yet absorbent fabric that's super plush and fabulously fluffy. This Oeko-Tex certified material is also free of synthetic colorants and harsh artificial chemicals. (The white option is piece dyed, and the natural color is undyed.)

See our guide on How to Wash and Properly Care for Towels for maintenance tips.

Parachute's Commitment to an Ethical and Sustainable Supply Chain

Parachute's sustainability efforts go beyond offering organic bath towels and Oeko-Tex certified linens. We're committed to a range of ongoing ethical and environmentally conscious practices. 

This includes DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives, an upcoming circular program for upcycled materials, a pledge to be a carbon-neutral company by Earth Day 2022 and plans for more Fair Trade products in the coming years.

Speaking of upcycling, read our blog to learn How to Donate, Recycle and Reuse Old Bed Sheets and Towels.

Other Eco-Friendly Home Goods From Parachute