Is organic cotton the best
answer to a sustainable wardrobe?
Organic cotton is grown with a focus on environmentally friendly methods and materials.
We use it because it satisfies three criteria that define us as a sustainable fashion business:
our environmental, social and sustainable goals.
This natural fibre is grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which maintains soil’s natural fertility. Reducing the use of these also means less nitrous oxide is released; nitrous oxide being the potent greenhouse gas which has a global warming potential 300 times greater than carbon dioxide.
The working conditions and pay offered to our suppliers matter to us. All of our cotton fabrics are sourced from independent suppliers to then bring our designs to life in-house. Because of this we negotiate a competitive price that reflects the quality of the final product.
Moving towards greater use of organic cotton also brings benefits to local cotton farmers; producing and selling this cotton is more profitable. Whilst there are increased costs associated with growing organically as opposed to conventionally, the environmental benefits mean we are happy to pay more for our materials. With greater demand farmers will be incentivised to grow organically, embracing the environmental benefits along the way.
The cotton we use is free from any synthetic materials. This means our clothing is 100% naturally biodegradable. Whether used for composting or for upcycled clothing, you can be sure that your clothes need never be wasted. If you stop wearing them that is!
Is that the end of it, have we found
the perfect eco friendly fabrics?
No. Organic cotton is not perfect. We can’t get away from the fact that growing cotton means a carbon footprint bigger than we would like. Making land arable also means biodiversity is reduced, and growing and processing necessarily means using water and agricultural labour.
Whilst rainwater can be used this is dependent upon supply, and farming land invariably means the use of greenhouse gas emitting machinery. However, using organic hand-picked cotton means reduced emissions, and the use of natural pesticides means crops do not need excess amounts of water to grow healthily.
Because of these reasons we choose to use Indian cotton. All cotton here is hand-picked due to the availability of labour, giving work to people in the most rural areas of the country. Hand-picking cotton is labour intensive, but by growing organic it means work is regulated and no toxic pesticides are transferred onto the skin or breathed in by employees.
AS WE GROW WE WANT TO EXPLORE
THE USE OF EVEN MORE
nEW ECO-FRIENDLY FABRICS
As a by-product of the banana fruit, this raw material requires no additional farming or processing.
Not only that but the stalks are naturally breathable, greaseproof, water and heat resistant. Banana production itself is also known to be carbon neutral, and when grown independently (as opposed to intensively) need not be pesticide-heavy.
Weaving lotus stems into fabrics is not only an age-old sustainable use of a naturally growing plant; it also brings a silk-like texture to our clothes. These handmade materials are also by necessity not suitable for mass-production. This means sourcing it supports local providers and preserves their techniques, whilst also allowing us to select them according to our focus on socially responsible working conditions and pay.
Organic cotton: a good start when it comes to sustainable materials. But we know there
are even better options out there and we can’t wait to start exploring them further.