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You may have noticed the small symbols accompanying each of our products; these refer to the ethics relating to each particular product.

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Contains GOTS Certified Organic Cotton

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Ethically made in a factory that complies with the Ethical Trading Initiative base code.

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Made in England, Supporting local communities and lowering carbon emissions.

What is GOTS Certification?

GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard.  This standard stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecology and labour conditions in textile and clothing manufacture using organically produced raw materials.

Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides and fertilizers. In addition, organic production relies on adequate animal husbandry and excludes genetic modification.

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About 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 12% of the world’s pesticides are used on conventional cotton crops.

Some of these chemicals are considered to be the most toxic chemicals in the world.  Aldicarb is listed by the World Heath Organisation (WHO) as “extremely hazardous” The Institute of Science In Society says that one drop can be fatal to an adult male so it’s no surprise that WHO report 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning annually with 1 million of these cases requiring hospitalisation.

It takes just a few years for pests to develop resistance to a new pesticide. When new pesticides are manufactured, privatised cotton companies sell them to farmers on credit. This dependency on pesticides frequently forces farmers into debt. There have been a shocking number of suicides as a result of cotton farming debts, over 1500 in Chhattisgarh (an agricultural state in central India) alone. Industrial pesticides have also been linked to a variety of health issues including depression, reduced brain activity, stomach and lung problems and burns.

There is also the potential of pesticides entering the food chain and water supply not only via the water cycle but also because cottonseed and cottonseed husks are used as feed for farm animals. Cottonseed oil is also used in cooking in many parts of the world

However, organic cotton farmers find novel ways to successfully fight cotton pests in their crops.

For Example in Uganda, black ants are used to control cotton-eating pests and elsewhere natural soap, chilli and extracts from local trees are enough to deter them.  Insect traps are used to monitor insect levels allowing farmers to time their applications of natural repellents to best effect.

Crop rotation, habitat management and encouraging natural predators have proven to be effective and safe ways to reduce natural predators and these have the added benefit of allowing nutrients to remain in the soil so it can be used in future to grow food crops.

The high standards of GOTS certified organic cotton provide you, as a consumer, with the knowledge that the product you are purchasing has been produced with the aim of avoiding damage to the environment and human health.  By choosing to buy organic cotton we are also sending a message to business and government that there is a demand for justice in the growing and manufacture of cotton products and that consumers are increasingly interested in where and how their clothes are made.

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All the factories we use comply with the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) base code.

The ETI is an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable workers across the globe.

To find our more about the Ethical Trading Initiative please visit their website at http://www.ethicaltrade.org

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We have close links to local suppliers and manufacturers within the Midlands and feel strongly about supporting the local community and British manufacturing.  This is an issue with growing public support thanks to Mary Portas and her television programme “The Bottom Line”.

All of our cotton jerseywear and knitwear is designed, knitted, dyed, printed, manufactured and distributed here in Leicestershire, keeping carbon emissions low.


 

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