We now live in a world of "fast-fashion" where the allure of cheap clothing often results in microplastics ending up in our water, heavy use of pesticides, and dreadful conditions for workers. But we can take a stand.
I want my products to reflect my values, and to ensure I bring you clothing that you can feel not only physically comfortable wearing, but comfortable in the knowledge that your clothes are more friendly to both the environment and employees involved in manufacture and distribution.
All Gnostic Forest branded clothing is manufactured by Continental Clothing Co., a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. Look out for the labels by each product. The below video tells you a little more about the Fair Trade Foundation and its involvement along the supply chain.
All Gnostic Forest clothing is either 100% organic cotton or an organic blend.
We love cotton for good reason. It's natural, but it's also one of the thirstiest and dirtiest crops around.
It's estimated that to produce just one cotton t-shirt, 2,100 litres of water is required - enough for one person to drink in two and a half years! Regular cotton uses 16% of the world's insecticides and 11% of its pesticides which not only rely on fossil fuels depletion, but cause significant damage to the microbiology of our soil, worsening its ability to retain water - precisely what the crop needs.
On a socio-economic level, GMO crops cannot produce their own seeds so farmers are dependent on purchasing new seeds every year from corporations such as Monsanto. Due to high demand for such seeds (Bt cotton) and government-regulation of prices, many farmers purchase their seeds from the black market at highly-inflated prices. As smaller-scale farmers are often unable to qualify for loads provided by larger organisations, they approach alternative money-lenders with high interest rates to pay these extortionate prices which can result in spiraling debt. According to a government report, over 12,500 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2015.
Add this to pollution, exposure to toxic chemicals and the fact that pests are developing resistance to GMO seeds, and it soon becomes clear why Bt cotton isn't all it's cracked up to be.
On the other hand, here's a few benefits of organic cotton:
- Feels better on the skin (with many people saying it smells better too!)
- A great option for sensitive skills, without risk or irritation from pesticide residues and other impurities
- Helps prevent water contamination by avoiding chemical use in the growing process
- Supports farmers by giving them a greater profit on their crops, and preventing exposure to hazardous chemicals
Although it's reported that organic cotton does not produce as high a yield as regular cotton (raising questions around greater use of land and water), we can still help counteract this by buying wisely and conserving our most previous resource. Also look out for the Climate Neutral logo on selected products.