Every input to garment production, from seed to high street, is traceable in a process governed by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). The Soil Association's criteria for what you are not allowed to use in textile printing is very strict, no aromatic solvents (white spirit), no formaldehyde, no PVC, no phthalates, no apeo's or heavy metals.
All waste has to be carefully monitored. The water effluent is filtered on site and then tested and monitored by the water authority and all materials are recycled where possible. To achieve zero liquid effluent discharge, salt & water recycling plants are used. They recover 92% of the salt and 95% of water (760,000 litres/day) used.
"But what is wrong with traditional cotton growing?" you may ask. The issue is that it is hugely (and increasingly) reliant on pesticides derived from petrochemicals. Cotton accounts for 2.5% of the world's cultivated land, yet around 25% of ALL insecticides and 10% of chemical pesticides are sprayed on cotton.
A typical conventional cotton t-shirt uses about 150 grams of acutely toxic pesticides and insecticides; that's the size of a cup of sugar. Then it is likely to be dyed using more harmful chemicals and to prevent it from creasing, finished with formaldehyde. Would you want that next to your skin?
Organic cotton supports healthy ecosystems and promotes bio-diversity. For more of the benefits have a look here. The garments are made in India but with strict employment principles applied: no child labour or discrimination, compliance with national laws regarding working hours and pay etc.
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