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Organics or Hemp Fabrics??

We received this question from a male physician this week who strongly believes in using sustainable products and minimizing our carbon footprint, and finds value in organic materials.  You can read his blog at www.theseep.com.  See reply below - definitely something for the near future. Question:  "Your lab coats look great and thanks for making them in the U.S.!  I'm looking for both domestically made and made from sustainable resources, so I'd like organic cotton or hemp fabric.  Is this available or is there any option for you to use organic cotton?" Thanks, Clint S., M.D. Answer:  The short answer is that at this time, although we use 100% cotton (grade A) fiber in our lab coats fabric – they are not certified organic.  I wish that they were – it would be a tremendous benefit to our customers and one that I would personally choose, as a customer and someone heavily involved in development and design. Long answer – is that we are a new, small company that is simply trying to find a balance between successful introduction of a new-concept product and keeping costs at a level that will allows us to grow and to make it over this “hurdle” in the economy.  I’m sure you know the statistics, as your blog was quite impressive.  Less than 5% of garments sold in the U.S. are actually made in the U.S.  We are proudly one of those companies.  We both manufacture and retail our products – also a very unusual combination for a new uniform company (most are imported as finished goods and the brand label is applied to the garment).  We utilize modern, technically advanced, 3rd party certified by the respective patent holder performance fabrics – something very new to the medical apparel industry.  Most uniform companies that “boast” performance characteristics are using generic treatments with very little longevity or effectiveness.  That is not the case with our fabrics.  We pay more per yard of fabric, than almost every single lab coat or scrub company does in total cost of goods – total (!).  So when researching and sourcing various options during the development phase – I very much wanted to introduce organics – but found it to be cost prohibitive at this time.  It’s rather challenging to introduce lab coats and scrubs, such as ours – at a completely different price point than what most clinicians are used to.  We’re talking anywhere from “free” to $40 for a lab coat, and the same for scrubs.  Some immediately see value in the fit, quality, and performance fabrics (especially in person at medical conferences) and don’t think twice about the price.  Others have been “trained” that medical apparel is cheap and disposable, and are turned off by the “new” prices found in medelita and Medelita Men's garments. In terms of organics in our future – it will be aligned with our growth trends.  So please help us to spread the word about www.medelita.com and www.medelita-mens.com.  Our initial introduction of organics will most likely be in the scrub fabric (closest to your body – which makes sense).  We already have plans to work with the new Dri-release E.C.O., as we have a wonderful relationship with Optimer, Inc. and are very impressed with this U.S. based company/developer of all Dri-release brands.  We currently use a Dri-release/FreshGuard fabric in our women’s scrubs. I hope that I can convince you to consider our “made in USA” new men’s lab coats, and will be very proud to inform you the day we introduce organics.