Organic Cotton Homewares from Ochre & Ocre
We are hearing more and more about the benefits of going organic. Sales of organic food and clothing are increasing and people are taking seriously the damage to the planet that non-organic farming methods cause. So why is organic cotton so important for farmers and the environment?
• Nearly 25% of the world’s pesticides are used on cotton crops
• Cotton provides almost 50% of the world’s fibre needs
• 150 grams of pesticides are used to grow enough cotton for 1 t-shirt, (this is equivalent to a cup of sugar per t-shirt).
• It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year in developing countries as a result of the sprays used on non organic cotton
Organic cotton is produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilisers – protecting both the environment and farmers’ health. Instead natural methods such as crop rotation, and encouraging natural predators, help to maintain a healthy crop.
From the farmers point of view it takes a lot of commitment and money to go truly organic. They have a transition period, before they can be certified organic. They have to learn new methods, and it can take a few years for cotton yields to return to the levels achieved with chemicals.
At Ochre & Ocre we decided to take the organic thought process through the whole chain, not just the raw materials. We used Oeko-tex as our certifying body, as this covers all the parts in the process, from the spinning and weaving, dyeing to manufacture.
It took a lot of convincing to get everybody in our supply chain to sign up to Oeko-tex, not least because it cost them more money. We had to convince them that going organic, using healthy dyestuffs and manufacturing in a factory with good working conditions was a worthwhile investment, and that consumer demand would grow.
Was this the right decision? With the current economic turbulence it will be interesting to see how strongly consumers want a organic product with good provenance. We believe we have made the right decision, go on line and see for yourselves; www.ochreandocre.com