About us

For centuries cotton has been the raw material for all kinds of clothing. Due to its body-friendly qualities it used to be called “white gold” in ancient times. Cotton is very absorbent, that is why it is perfect for clothes that are in direct contact with our skin such as underwear, nightwear, bathrobes, casual wear and baby overalls. Cotton balances our body temperature, does not cause skin-irritations or allergies, thus it is a perfect fit for people with sensitive skin, especially babies and children.
Cotton is the most important natural resource for textiles in the world. Cotton cultivated in a conventional way (not organic cotton) is one of the plants that are treated most with pesticides. Artificial irrigation, the use of pesticides, defoliants, insecticides, and other chemical breeding techniques result in environmental damage, pollution and the destruction of natural resources. In addition, the steady use of chemicals has a huge impact on the health of the workers in the fields. But it is not only their health that is damaged…
Chemical additives and so-called “refinement” help produce a fabric that won’t wrinkle or shrink, one that will absorb less dirt and moisture, and one that is mothproof, antibacterial and easy to iron. The downside of this is a danger to our skin and the loss of cotton’s original qualities that are listed above.
Apart from that, cotton is treated with chlorine bleach to lighten up the natural colour of cotton; this health damaging chemical turns it into a purely white coloured fabric that does not really resemble much the original colour. During the process of dyeing lots of products that damage health and the environment are used - they can cause allergies and eczema. Hence what used to be a body-friendly material becomes, with the use of chemicals, a fabric that is rather health-damaging.
That is why organic cotton came into play. To ameliorate the environmental and working conditions and of course to produce clothes that are a joy to our skin, LEELA COTTON only uses organic cotton - since 1994.
Our organic cotton is grown in Turkey, free of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. Every two to three years a crop rotation is taken. Only natural products are used for fertilizing. Only biological methods are employed to combat weed and pest. Defoliants are not part of the process; instead cotton is culled by hand. That way the ecological balance in the growing area is kept; the ground, the air and the water are not polluted and the workers’ health is not endangered.
Chemical additives do not play a role in the processing of organic cotton - formaldehyde, flame resistant, moth resistant and static inhibitors are not applied.
The clothes are printed and dyed in an ecological way. The dye does not consist of toxics; it is eco-friendly and synthetic. Unfortunately plant colours are not an alternative because they do not last on cotton. Besides, environmentalists doubt that the mass use of plant colours would be an ecological improvement, as an example of this the colour indigo caused problems with the effluents.
During the process of dyeing no optical brighteners, heavy metals and no chlorine bleach are used. The prints are water-based. White garments are bleached with oxygen. Some garments are not dyed at all.
Accessories such as buttons or zippers are made from natural products – the buttons are made of wood, shell or coco, the zippers of nickel-free metal. For sewing only cotton yarns are used; unfortunately, due to their breaking strength they have to be mercerized, though.
CONTROL UNION CERTIFICATION B.V. is an independent and internationally approved organisation verifying every step from the cultivation and processing of cotton up to the final product, according to "Global Organic Textile Standards" (GOTS). The entire process of production takes place in Turkey, thus there are no unnecessary transport routes.
Another part of the inspection deals with the social conditions of the workers in the fields and in the places of production. The factory in Izmir takes care of European social standards: no child labour (minimum age of the workers is sixteen years of age), minimum wages, maternity and sickness benefits, compliance with industrial safety regulations, no forced overtime.
LEELA COTTON clothes are machine-washable. To treat the fibres with care and to keep the natural colour, we recommend you to use detergent without optical brighteners (mild-detergent or biological detergent). We recommend a washing temperature of 40° Celsius (fleece and velvet materials: 30°C; towels, bathrobes and underwear: 60°C).
All fabrics have been pre-washed eco-friendly and artificially shrunk with hot steam (sanforizing); still you cannot avoid further shrinkage during the wash (according to the kind of cotton fabric and washing temperature between 2-6% shrinkage can occur).
Before the clothes are sewn, they are tested against twisting. If you use a dryer, it is possible for the garment to lose its form or to shrink more than expected after the wash (especially terry cloth is very sensitive). Natural fabrics should always be shaped back into their original form, by hand, after the wash.
Your organic cotton garment has to be treated differently than clothes produced in the traditional, chemical way. Those products are resistant to wrinkling and shrinking which the organic cotton clothes are not, but then again you have a piece of cloth in your hand that is good to your skin and your health; you might have to treat it with more care but it cares more for you, too because it does not cause skin irritation or allergies and it balances your body temperature and humidity.
We hope that you can see the advantages of organic cotton and that you will feel the joy of wearing them!