‘Organic’ – it sounds so nice and so good. Truth is, organic cotton doesn’t look or feel much different to ordinary cotton. There’s limited evidence that it’s safer to wear, even next to babies skin. So why do we bother paying the extra?
We buy organic because it’s the right thing to do. We discovered that people who work on cotton plantations (and the children who grow up next to them) end up exposed to the pesticides sprayed on the fields. And that’s a lot of pesticides – cotton farming uses six to ten times as much as other crops. And a lot of people - between 4 and 12 million people - are affected by acute poisoning which affects their nerve transmission, with symptoms ranging from headaches, to seizures, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases death*. In addition the chemicals used on crops pollute rivers and stick around in the environment long after they’re used.
So, we source 100% organic tees, and we make sure they are all ethically produced in sweat-shop free environments. We get them from a range of suppliers because we wanted a range of cotton weights, colours and cuts. Our heavy-weight tees weigh in at around 200gsm and we have them dyed to a comfy vintage-washed finish (using pigment dyes which is more environmentally sound). Our light-weight tees are soft and stretchy 165gsm ones from the Earth Positive range which are carbon neutral. And our kids tees are super little 200gsm softies.
We then hand-print them here in Coventry, using eco-friendly inks, which are water-based rather than plastisol. It makes them a bit trickier to print with, but we think it’s worth it – both for the environment and for you, as the ink sinks in so they wash really well and are fine to iron.
*Pesticide Action Network UK have published an excellent detailed report on all this if you need more info.