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Sustainable fashion: the gift that gives twice

Safia Minney: The fast fashion industry is the world’s largest polluter after oil. This is largely caused by farming one of the thirstiest of all crops – non-organic cotton. Conventional, non-organic cotton farming requires an extremely high use of water resulting in draining water resources, decreasing wildlife diversity and preventing future generations from meeting their basic human needs. Growing conventional cotton uses 16% of the world’s total insecticides and pesticides and it takes over 3,900 litres of water to produce an average t-shirt.

24 November 2015 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 0

Women’s monthly dose of glyphosate – should we be worried?

Susie Hewson: Natracare, together with the Women’s Voices for the Earth, are raising awareness about the unregulated and potentially harmful chemicals in feminine care products, including pesticides, fragrances, dyes and preservatives. At the same time, we aim to offer a viable solution of certified organic cotton and organophosphate-free natural materials to avoid unnecessary exposure to potentially carcinogenic materials.

17 November 2015 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 6

Soil and the power of poo

Marianne Landzettel: ‘Give me five more minutes’ signals Gualu Goud as he’s standing on top of one of his five compost heaps working the top layer with a hoe. I met Gualu earlier this month in a village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa). He’s been a cotton farmer for most of his life. Things were ok until about 10 years ago when yields started to drop even though he used increasing amounts of expensive chemical fertilisers.

12 February 2015 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 9

Fashion as a tool for change

Safia Minney: I always eat vegetarian organic and wear organic cotton, so throughout September I’m going to pledge to get men to go organic. Each week, I’m giving organic cotton to leaders in fashion and change - Nick from ASOS, David Cameron, Russell Brand and Richard Branson. When I met with the Dalai Lama I gave him a pair of People Tree organic to wear under his saffron robes. Women always lead the way when it comes to sustainability and social change. We need more men to go green.

12 September 2014 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 5

Fashion Revolution Day – who made your clothes?

Peter Melchett: The global fashion industry is worth over an estimated $2.5 trillion. Textiles, clothing and footwear employ more than 60 million people worldwide, meaning that 1% of the world's population is employed by the fashion and textiles sector. And fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil in terms of its environmental impact – 25% of chemicals produced worldwide are used for textiles, with the industry the number two polluter of clean water after agriculture. Now the fashion industry is coming together to highlight the problems in the fashion supply chain, from exploitation to pollution. The first Fashion Revolution Day (FRD) on the 24th April 2014 will see a series of global events and initiatives, organised by designers, fashion labels, retailers and journalists, aimed at making change happen.

23 April 2014 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 15

Who made your dress?

Lynda Brown: I used to work in the advertising business for a while, so I’m a sucker for a good headline, and this morning fair trade and organic fashion gurus, People Tree sent over a cracker to advertise the last of their summer sale. “Who made your dress?” has pics of some of their best selling summer dresses and who made them.

19 July 2013 | 9 Comments | Recommended by 6

Think. Eat. Save.

Liesl Truscott: Wednesday 5th June is World Environment Day. On this day all of us – from all walks of life – are asked to think about the everyday things many of us take for granted: the food we eat, the water we drink and bathe in, and the air we breathe. Seldom do we stop and contemplate the sheer beauty of our world or its abundant supplies.

05 June 2013 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 2

Bangladesh textile factory collapse

Sarah Compson: As well as sadness, sympathy and compassion for the victims, something else also welled up inside me - horror. It wasn’t just horror at the unnecessary deaths of 700 (and rising) innocent people, but horror caused by a realisation that the disaster highlights the dark side of the way we think about and consume fashion.

16 May 2013 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 7

Have you cottoned on yet? is the biz!

Lynda Brown: As we know, thanks to pioneering fashion companies like People Tree, ethical fashion is now an everyday reality, and awareness of the supreme importance of supporting organic cotton farmers and industry is finally getting through (for why, look no further than the Soil Association's latest blockbuster campaign). But - and it's a big one, though we can now buy organic clothes and towels on the high street, that's not the case with organic fabrics generally, which once again means turning a blind eye.

07 December 2012 | 55 Comments | Recommended by 16

Who grew my jeans?

George Thomas: After nine months in the making, we launched the world's first organic cotton campaign in October, and so far the response has been overwhelming! When Peter Melchett (Soil Association Policy Director) challenged the textile industry to "Cotton On to Organic" at the Sustainable Textile Conference in Hong Kong, pioneering brands, farmer cooperatives and NGOs told us they were relieved and delighted that the organic movement is speaking out about cotton. It was great to get the campaign off the ground.

03 December 2012 | 54 Comments | Recommended by 8

Greening my passion for fashion

Anna Louise Batchelor: I recently had an MOT at the doctors and received a gold star for my good health. Not smoking, rarely drinking, eating all the right foods and exercising plenty make me healthy but also a bit of a 'goody two shoes'. On my walk home from the surgery I decided to work out just what my vice is. As I looked down at my new frock I realised that my deadly sin is gluttony of gorgeous dresses. Yes if you prise open my wardrobe you will be amazed at its Tardis like ability to hoard clothes, specifically dresses. From winter wonders to sun ready summer numbers, I have a far too extensive range of dresses. My only saving grace to this vice is People Tree the ‘Fair Trade fashion pioneers’.

19 October 2012 | 432 Comments | Recommended by 95

Organic cotton production - going beyond the numbers

Liesl Truscott: A new report from Textile Exchange reveals a changing landscape for organic cotton. Previously, we’ve watched production figures rising yet felt a sense of unease about the number of critical issues brewing below the surface, masked by the great numbers we were reporting. This year that has all changed. But the story is not all bad. On one hand we have seen a significant decline of over 35% in production volumes (for reasons I’ll explain soon). On the other, we are seeing the resilience and expansion of organic cotton programs where robust and supportive business models are evident (more about this later).

07 May 2012 | 51 Comments | Recommended by 24

On my bike for Sierra Leone

Charles Redfern: I never imagined I would enjoy bicycling from London to Paris so much. For days after my first charity bike ride in September, I actually felt withdrawal symptoms - very odd. I was raising money for a new surveillance boat for Sierra Leone. It is being robbed blind every day by industrial fishing. Unmonitored, the foreign factory ships wreck the seabed and destroy local food security in a poor country that depends on fish.

29 September 2011 | 10 Comments | Recommended by 4

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