Georgina Thomas is Textiles Manager at the Soil Association, working with the fashion and textile industry to develop the market for organic textiles. Georgina started her career in sustainable fashion at the People Tree Japan office, working on design and producer relations, so it’s a real treat to have Georgina back as a guest blogger. She will tell you about the Soil Association’s new Cottoned On campaign.
Georgina Thomas: I’ve stood in cotton fields in India, yet the idea that the clothes I wear come from a farm still feels abstract to me.
I know it’s important to understand that our cotton clothes were grown somewhere, by someone, and have an impact on people and the environment. We all need to think about the consequences of our shopping choices. We need to ask, “what impact did this dress have on the people who grew it?”
Cotton can be a toxic crop and its production can have damaging effects on the environment and the people who grow it. Cotton production is infamous for causing water pollution, pesticide poisoning and trapping farmers in the vice-like grip of GM companies. One single GM company, Monsanto, now controls a staggering 95% of cotton seed in India.
But there is another way…
The Cottoned On campaign wants to ensure that people know how their shopping choices can support cotton farmers, protecting both the environment and the people who produce your clothes. Here are the three key points of the campaign:
Cotton On to Organic Cotton
- 1. Give control to farmers, not GM companies, to help them feed their families
Organic cotton production never uses GM seeds so farmers can be independent of GM companies. Organic cotton is a rotational crop, enabling farmers to grow and sell food to feed their families and promote organic food locally!
- Eliminate hazardous synthetic pesticides and save water
Organic cotton doesn’t use dangerous pesticides, protecting farmers’ lives and the environment. Organic cotton uses less water, saving this precious natural resource for the future.
- Combat climate change
Organic cotton farming uses less energy, plus healthy organic soil stores more carbon reducing the release of CO2.
Organic cotton farmers around the world have shown cotton farmed in the right way can be good for people and the planet. Now it’s time for us as consumers to show that we can support them today and in the future. As pioneers in sustainable fashion, People Tree were amongst the first to support organic cotton farmers and provide us with sustainable fashion options. They have even introduced us to the organic farmers who grow their cotton through their inspiring videos. If we all Cotton On to organic, we can really begin to change cotton production methods and the fashion industry. Join us in celebrating sustainable fashion on Earth Day by cottoning on today!
Cotton On and WIN!
Everyone who joins the Cottoned On campaign on or before midnight on Monday 22 April – Earth Day – will be entered for a chance to win a beautiful organic cotton dress from People Tree and will receive a voucher worth £15 off a purchase of £50 or more. Read all the details on the Cottoned On campaign webpage.