Tuesday 5 February 2008

Ethical brand profile - Okarma

At the niche end of the market for promotional clothing lies Okarma which brings to the market a small range of organic t-shirts, hoodies and polo shirts. Like Continental it is 100% organic but it goes further in that none of the cotton used is organic cotton in conversion. It is a small company operating out of Devon (a county now advertising itself to tourists as the home of the green lifestyle in the UK - home incidentally to our printing presses). Its cotton is grown in India.

Okarma sets out on its website that it:

  • is Control Union (SKAL) certified organic
  • is GM free
  • is OKEO-TEX 100 certified
  • is ethically produced
  • is environmentally friendly
  • has a transparent supply chain
  • uses bio-degradable packaging
On the issue of fair trade, Okarma sets out on its website:

"From farm to factory, our organic cotton is inspected, evaluated, labelled and stored with complete traceability and transparency of procedure. Furthermore we have committed to long term partnerships with each of our suppliers, and we use our influence to seek fairness in the workplace, with improved conditions and wages for everyone involved in the different stages of manufacture."

Unlike the biggest brands in clothing with their detailed policies on ethical trading and the supply chain and multi-layered inspection programmes, one suspects that one has to rely on close contacts and assurances with Okarma. In the organic industry one anticipates there will exist a healthy regard for the rights of human beings as well as the environment however in the absence of inspection programmes one cannot know it 100%.

We carried out a quick search on the web to see if there might be any skeletons in the closet for Okarma. Nothing came up. So in providing our customers an organic and ethical t-shirt choice Okarma seems to be a good brand to go with. Ask for it by name or look for it in our Clothing Directory.

(As for any of the brands that we profile, we welcome comments and especially evidence that may affect our opinion.)

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