Native Organic Cotton is a West Oakland-based linen and textile manufacturing business specializing in products created with USDA and GOTS certified organic cotton. Their products include bedding, towels, and napkins, which they sell primarily to the hotel, spa, and retail industries, and they are looking to expand into hospitality for the elderly. Rather than having a storefront, Organic Native Cotton maintains partnerships with several other companies who they sell to and co-create with, such as Health Ceramics, Lifekind, Anthropologie, and Brooklyn Kitchen.
Co-founder and co-owner Marc W. Chase says, “My ancestors are French and they were in the textiles industry in the Old World. I started this business because it’s in my blood.”
Organic farming and sustainability are deeply important to the company ethos of Native Organic Cotton. Ever since he and his sister Michele launched they have remained committed to sourcing cotton farmed in a U.S. certified organic way, without environmentally harmful chemicals or practices. This commitment is reflected by their long relationship with the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Coop, who have supplied Marc’s business with cotton for 20 years ever since they launched in 1998. “Sourcing is very important. “When we started in 1998 we decided to go all in, and we are 100% U.S. certified organic from the dirt to the shirt.” Marc explains that his business is committed to these practices because “commodity cotton is poisonous and polluting.”“We aim to bring organic products to a wider middle class market,” Marc says. He explained that they are not and should be just for the wealthy because the organic farming process itself does not add much cost: “Organic can save the world. What is good for nature is good for us.”
Native Organic Cotton started as a Southern California company, but 5 years ago they relocated in a studio on 26th street in West Oakland. At the time they tried but did not succeed in qualifying for a bank loan even though they were not a startup.
The first loan Organic Native Cotton received from Main Street Launch in October 2013 helped them establish themselves in Oakland, giving them access to an excellent market for their organic products in the larger Bay Area. The second and third loans they received in February 2018 gave them working capital needed to meet the rising demand for organically and ethically sourced products. “Consumers are savvier now, especially millennials active on social media.”
“We had and continue to have a good experience with Main Street Launch. As a community based lender they are an important local resource for investment,” says Marc.
You can check out their products by visiting Nativeorganic.com.