2019 UPDATE: Unfortunately to all of our dismays, The Graces is closed for business indefinitely. I am currently on the hunt for another brand of organic towels to love. Stay tuned!
So maybe you’ve already switched out your deodorant and buy organic or pastured meats and you’re wondering what’s next. Or maybe you have your house all perfectly nontoxic and you are looking for an upgrade. Or maybe you have no idea that lurking in your bath towels are the likes of:
- urea, PVA starch and wax coated yarn
- bleach used to whiten towels before dying
- hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamer, optical brighteners and other proprietary ingredients added to bleach
- synthetic or chemical dyes to color towels
- chemicals to make towels feel softer – KKAP manufactures many of these agents, you can check out a list of potential softeners used here.
Welp, they do.
So how do you avoid inviting all of these nasties into your home in the form of a towel? Go organic. Safe for your skin and better for the environment.
Last fall The Graces sent me some of their organic towels to try and I gotta say, I fell in love instantly. Two things about me you need to know. I travel and get to use a lot of towels. The Graces are some of the best. I’m talking top tier in size, weight, absorbency and plushness. I mentioned to the owner that they remind me of the towels at The Ritz and he said, Well, thats because these towels *may or may not* be hand-loomed at the SAME mill by the same folks who loom towels for The Ritz. I mean, do I know my towels or do I know my towels!?
The other thing you need to know about me is I’m 5’10” and weigh 150 lbs…..and I take my bath and shower time VERY SERIOUSLY. Mama don’t play when it comes to towels. Shower time is a small moment I get to myself and I do it up in every way with luxe body scrubs, handmade soaps, hair masks and nothing says I deserve this moment more than a plush towel to punctuate the perfect ending.
So what sets The Graces apart? Well, they are heavy but not too heavy and easily dry overnight. This is key because for anyone who’s used a mildewy towel – you know what I’m talking about! And they are a great size covering your whole body plus more. Their bath towel is 30″ x 63″ which is significantly larger than a standard bath towel but smaller than a bath sheet. I wanted to hold it up for you so you could see how big it is in relation to me.
Also, each towel has a sewn-in hanging loop ensure it stays after its hung. LOVE!
Absorbency. Like, why do I even need to address this? It’s a towel and has ONE job to do: soak up the water! But even to this day, I find myself buying or using towels that just fail at soaking up the water. This one is good at it and it gets even better after 1-2 washes. And this is why…
Just like you look for a thread count on sheets, you can look for grams per square meter weight on towels. This is called the GSM. This isn’t like a 1-10 scale where 10 is the best and 1 is the worst. It’s more a matter of preference. For example, in Japan, luxe towels are gauzy and super light ranging between 450-500 GMS. Americans tend to love super-heavy towels that are around 800 GSM. The Graces strikes a balance between the two with 650 GSM which is heavy enough to be super-absorbent but light enough to dry quickly.
You also want a towel that is woven thick enough that you can’t see inside to the base. Like these. (All you see is the twisted yarn, you can’t see down to any bare part of the bottom or base of the towel). This will ensure good absorbency too.
In addition, these towels are created from twisted yarn for strength + absorbency but also this helps them retain their shape too. I have some Air Weight organic towels from Coyuchi that I bought maybe two years ago and they are already fraying at the ends. The difference here is The Graces double stitches the ends to prevent fraying which is usually only done on hotel towels.
Also, if you are wondering, these towels didn’t give off any excess lint when I first washed them. And it only took 1-2 washes for them to really come into their full state of absorbency. But speaking of this, make sure you are not using dryer sheets or fabric softeners. They are not only crazy toxic but they will effect the absorbency of your towels too.
The Graces towels currently come in either a white or stone color. I particularly love the white for my body and hand towels and the stone for my face cloths (better camo for makeup stains). I am also trying their hand towels and bath mat. The bath mat is pretty much like a hand towel just a little bigger and a little thicker. It’s easy to wash and it’s stayed white after using it for 4 months which HELLO – so key.
Also infatuated with their face cloth set. It includes 8 face cloths – one for everyday of the week plus one for good measure. GENIUS!
Why Organic Cotton?
Cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops to farm. But buying organic avoids this toxic chemical overload added into our environment and into our homes.
Over 90% of cotton in the US is farmed GMO as of 2017. This comes with toxic pesticide use like Roundup and glyphosate, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides….and the list goes on. Besides the monoculture of crops this is creating and the risk that comes with that…. these toxic chemical pesticides are being dumped into our water supply and are taking a toll on our ecosystem.
Also, byproducts from the dying and bleaching process include ingredients like peroxides and other caustics that can not be released directly into the water supply. Many toweling factories have their own water treatment plants to bring water back up to minimum standards before releasing into the environment.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to support any of that. Or have my kids drink water that’s been treated for it. Or eat fish that has been swimming in it.
But How Do I Know It’s Organic?
The Graces is both GOTS Certified and Oeko-Tex ll certified which I will explain in a sec. But first…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Just because you see the words “natural” or “organic” or “eco-friendly” on product packaging – it doesn’t guarantee you squat. Companies will LIE to sell you their product. They will use cheap fillers, they will use harmful preservatives and they will use toxic chemicals to make a product look cleaner or smell fresher or last longer. All at the consumer’s expense. Many companies are riding this green wave in hopes to pull the old bait and switch on people who just don’t know better. So it’s up to US to know better. This is what you look for when buying a towel to ensure it’s organic:
The Graces towels are made with 100% organic cotton. They source their cotton from the nearby Aegean region and their cotton travels directly from the spinning mill to the factory without a cotton brokerage so they can directly trace it.
Their towels are also GOTS Certified. In the past, the GOTS certification used to mean “made with 100% organic fibers” but now it means a product is made with 70% organic fibers. The certification was probably updated to allow room to recognize composite fabrics made with sustainable synthetic materials (like bamboo which grows quickly and without the use of pesticides for example).
GOTS certification is unique because it covers the whole nine, everything from materials to dying and finishing.
Oeko-Tex II: This certification ensures that the end product has been tested to contain no harmful chemicals. Click each link for details.
Shop The Graces website to try! Everything is in stock except the face clothes which they are still taking orders from and they will ship the beginning of May 2018.
I would recommend this set that comes with:
- 2 Bath Towels
- 4 Hand Towels
- 1 Bath Mat
Oh and I almost forgot the most important part! The Graces has offered my readers an exclusive coupon code – just for you guys! THISORGANIC will save you 15% off orders over $100. Enjoy!
Thank you to The Graces for partnering on today’s post. And thanks to Monkey & Squirrel for the beautiful photos.
Have you tried The Graces?