Organic O~Wool Used by Sustainable Fashion Designers in U.S., Canada, and Europe in Fall/Winter '09 Collections

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Vermont Organic Fiber Co. president speaks at Organic Exchange conference in Seattle, Oct. 21-22

O~Wool in Fall dress by designer Susan Woo

My customers are amazed by the great quality, colors, texture, and variety of organic wool fabrics they have never seen before

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O~Wool ® organic wool fabrics from Vermont Organic Fiber Company (VTOF) are the Fall/Winter '09 fabrics of choice for leading sustainable fashion designers for both adults and children in the U.S., Canada, and Europe including Bodkin, Deborah Lindquist, Bahar Shahpar, Susan Woo and Whitten Grey in the U.S., Fin (Norway) and Elena Garcia (UK) in Europe, and Dagg and Stacey (Toronto) and Nixxi (Vancouver, BC) in Canada. These designers and many others who emphasize sustainable fashion are incorporating a variety of O~Wool fabrics. VTOF is the nation's leading provider of Merino wool fabrics made with wool grown and certified to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) national organic program standard.

"My customers are amazed by the great quality, colors, texture, and variety of organic wool fabrics they have never seen before," said New York City-based Susan Woo, who used O~Wool suiting and twill fabrics to create a powerful line of cocktail dresses, blouses, skirts, and blazers. A photo of her O~Wool cocktail dress will be in the December issue of Vogue magazine.

"We are excited that more designers than ever before are using O~Wool in their collections," said Matthew Mole, president of Vermont Organic Fiber Company, noting that "the use of O~Wool by all these top designers shows that fashion and environmental sustainability easily go hand-in-hand." Mole will be presenting October 20-22, 2009, at the Organic Exchange Sustainable Textiles conference in Seattle, WA.

Also in the U.S., New York City-based design house Bodkin used the O~Wool by Jasco interlock and crepe fabrics in their dresses. In January, 2009, Bodkin was granted the first Ecco Domani Sustainable Design Award. Bahar Shahpar, designer and director of the Green Fashion Shows during New York Fashion Week in September, 2009, incorporated O~Wool by Jasco crepe into her five-piece Holiday collection. Well-known Los Angeles, CA-based sustainable designer-to-the-stars Deborah Lindquist integrated O~Wool melton into her mandarin collar wool jacket. And Whitten Grey's designer Brittney Davenport uses the beautiful O~Wool melton fabric for a jumper and party dress sold direct as well as at boutiques around world.

In Canada, Toronto-based Dagg and Stacey's Karen Dagg and Stacey Paterson used the O~Wool melton wool to create their Caroll Coat which is sold direct and at select boutiques in the country while designer Jada-lee of Nixxi used the O~Wool by Jasco interlock for her line of clean, classic apparel including a cardigan wrap, shawl, and coat made in her own Vancouver, Canada facility.

In Europe, Elena Garcia in London felted the O~Wool jersey to create a line of timeless shrugs, capes, and long coats sold online and in boutiques throughout the UK, and Norwegian fashion design house FIN will be selling their melton O~Wool coats in stores throughout the U.S. In February, 2008, The company won the Naloyet 2009 award, Norway's most prestigious fashion award.

All VTOF's processing is done in New England to either the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Oecotex.

About Vermont Organic Fiber Company
O~Wool yarns and fabrics are made from certified organic Merino wool spun, knit, woven, and finished at facilities in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Woolen spinning in the U.S. is certified to the new Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) as is worsted spinning carried out with partner mills in China. GOTS addresses all post-shearing stages such as dyeing and finishing, and includes social criteria. VTOF is one of the first and few companies in the U.S. to have partner spinning mills certified to GOTS and is getting all subsequent processing phases certified to the standard.

In addition to designers, companies from North America to Europe and Asia are using/ have used O~Wool yarns or fabrics for a wide variety of outdoor, bedding, and baby applications include Ecobaby Organics (San Diego, CA), Fox River Mills (Osage, IA), IBEX (Woodstock, VT), J. Crew (New York, NY), Loomstate (New York, NY), Maggie's Organics (Ypsilanti, MI), Patagonia (Ventura, CA), Wildlife Works (London, UK), and Mitsukoshi Department Stores (Tokyo, Japan).

Organic wool is part of the approximately $3.2 billion global organic fiber industry, according to the Organic Exchange Organic Cotton Market Report 2009. For the wool to be sold as "organic" in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (NOP) requires that the sheep meet its livestock standards which call for the animals to be fed organic feed and forage from the last third of gestation and be raised without the use of synthetic hormones or pesticides. In addition, organic livestock producers are diligent in ensuring they do not exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals graze, resulting in agricultural practices that are healthy for both the animals and the environment.

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