"I'm looking for the most luxurious cotton India has to offer; the best."
JANAKPURI, DELHI - Today I met with a factory recommended by a family member. The meeting was intense. I was looking for %100 Organic Cotton and was beyond disappointed to hear that it's not available "Made in India". Rajesh, (the factory owner) assured me that anyone claiming to sell me organic fabric in India was selling a lie because in order for fabric to be considered "Organic", it needs to follow compliance regulations from start to finish throughout the production process. By definition organic cotton has to be grown from non-genetically modified plants (without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides) but beyond that the production and handling processes also need to be compliant with requirements enforced by the National Organic Program (NOP), from the USDA, in order to be considered organic in the U.S. When he told me that organic fields need to go through a cleansing period of three years it started to sink in, I wasn't getting high quality organic cotton from India this year.
I brought in examples of the types of fabrics I was looking for. Rajesh told me these fabrics were really expensive and recommended less expensive fabrics with a similar look but lower grade quality. I told Rajesh that I wanted the best and people would recognize the difference... delivering actually high quality product would separate me from the competition.
What I learned:
According to my sources, truly high quality organic cotton is not currently available "Made in India".
Because of the rise of fast fashion, the mentality in the industry is to deliver the cheapest products with the best "looking" quality. As a buyer, ask questions around why the fabrics being recommended are superior to others on the market.
It's instinctual for salespeople to sell you what they have on hand. Be really specific about what you want otherwise you'll likely get talked into something else that just happens to be available and becomes a quick sale.