Jane Shepherd, founder of Pigeon Organics
Jane Shepherd runs Pigeon Organics, an organic textile baby wear brand, based in Oxford. The company’s entire supply chain is certified to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards).
We caught up with her to find out why she chooses organic.
How did Pigeon Organics get started?
The brand (formerly Organics for Kids) came into being as a result of a long-held passion for textiles, combined with a keen interest in environmental solutions. Given some of the serious environmental and human problems associated with conventional cotton growing, organic cotton seemed like a really good place to start.
The business is built on relationships with a host of small suppliers and stockists.
I think organic principles matter within a wider context of ethical consumption. There’s no doubt that a growing awareness of issues around ethical purchasing in the UK has been important to our growth.
It’s clear that consumers won’t buy clothing unless they like the style, but there are many wonderful brands out there and for those consumers who also want to be able to make positive (ethical) purchasing decisions, we help them to do that. So we think it’s really important to give them that choice - to buy organic and ethically sourced products.
We hope that by offering a really good quality, well designed range, we are helping to expand the organic textiles sector by encouraging customers who might not have thought of buying organic before.
Given some of the serious environmental and human problems associated with conventional cotton growing, organic cotton seemed like a really good place to start.Jane Shepherd
What does the Soil Association mean to you?
The Soil Association licence provides our customers with a guarantee about the environmental and social credentials of our range. And it’s very important that the Soil Association has signed up to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). While our UK customers are aware of Soil Association certification, our overseas customers are more likely to be aware of GOTS. So being a Soil Association licensee really helps in both markets.
What's the main benefit of being organic for you?
The main benefit of being organic is that while we are a commercial business and need to be profitable, as far as we are able to know, we are not contributing to the huge social and environmental costs that are associated with non-organic cotton. We are really pleased to be part of the growing organic textiles sector.