Fairtrade fortnight is run for two weeks each year when campaigners, businesses, schools and groups show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food, crops and manufacture our clothes in developing countries, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid.
Sauce Consultancy are environmental communications experts. They help their clients get their environmental message across. Whenever we supply garments to them they always give us great designs to work with which reflects their expertise.
They chose organic polo shirts for their staff which we supplied printed with their design. Each bottle in the design matches one on their website, and each relates to an area of expertise.
Today we have been working on organic aprons for the Body Shop. We won the order through their agent (Karen Higgins Projects), organic aprons printed with some beautiful designs. There is an almond on some, passion fruit on another and hemp in another. We think the result is beautiful. Our organic fabric (twill) is made in India and is also certified by Oeko-Tex. The actual organic aprons are made here in the UK especially for us. It took us quite a while to find a supplier, research, trial and error (some shrunk) until we found the perfect fabric for the organic apron range we now have.
We have just introduced organic children’s aprons. It will be interesting to see how much interest they generate. With so many of our competitors deciding to reduce the range of Fairtrade and organic they supply we are doing the opposite. I could think of this as adventurous, foolish, wise swimming against the tide. However I still believe that there are people who want these products. Products that look toward our future, trying not to damage the land and giving a fair wage to the cotton farmers.
We are in a recession and it it hitting us hard. But when I remember the villagers I met in India who grow our cotton…………I think we are so lucky and it makes me determined to keep going. They had so very little but gave us such a warm, excited welcome. proud of their organic cotton. I hope the Body Shop are as excited with their delivery of organic aprons from us.
I recently looked at the Dorset cereals website. We supplied them with aprons which they need for prizes fro a competition a while ago. The aprons were a lovely chocolate brown and were both organic and Fairtrade certified aprons.
Well Dorset Cereals have a lovely website and a great competition to win a camper van which is fun and a little/very addictive 🙂 Have a go at http://www.dorsetcereals.co.uk/
I have recently spent a Saturday on a “keeping bees” workshop. It was riveting. I loved it. Sue Bird ran the workshop and as she has fifty bee hives she certainly knew her stuff. But it was obviously more than a business for her and she loved her bees. I came away loving them too and full of admiration for them.
Did you know that the worker bees are all female. That the queen bee makes one mating flight in her life and that the drones all think yipidy do da and race after her, elbows sharpened, in full buzz, to try and be “the one?” When the hive gets too full the old queen if slimmed down again (by feeding her less) so that she can fly again. She will then leave the hive taking a swarm with her and leaving a young queen in her place.
I wish Sue had a website I could point you in the direction of – her workshops are so worth going to.
Anyway back to business. Just at that moment Neal’s Yard Remedies came along and asked us to supply organic yellow t shirts. Printed with their “Bee Lovely to Bees” design. You see they have a campaign to help the endangered honey bee and have an online petition which you can sign here. They want to promote banning particular pesticides which directly impact Bees. SIGN UP!
Jenny worked hard on this order and the final result was certainly very effective. It was great that Cotton Roots organic t shirts were selected for this promotional campaign. We are proud to have supplied Organic and Fairtrade garments to another outstanding company. I was especially rewarding that it was right at the time I was learning all about keeping bees.
I have a skip in my step. Simple things make such a difference. Finding new ways of doing things here which improve the way we work. A delivery which excites us. A new customer with a wonderful design. Ah happy days.
We had a delivery recently – directly from India full of our top quality aprons made with Fairtrade certified cotton. These are loved by the artisan manufacturer for example making speciality breads, sweets, pies.
eing They boxes always arrive literally “stitched” up. Take a look at the photograph. There is no chance of these boxes being tampered with. It’s sort of wonderfully “not mass produced” , so effective and looks very interesting.
I am always childishly pleased when I look at them and open them. Ahhhh the joys of changing our company into an ethical specialist.
Good news again! We seem to be going through a purple patch of good news. YeHa!
We have been in touch with the Soil Association and we think we can be the first “UK t shirt embroiderers to be certified as organic. Whoopee. Helen is on the case and looking into the auditing we would need to do. I have to say that the Soil Association has been so helpful and positive. We already have so many things in place I am hopeful so watch this space as we work towards the certification.
I will update the blog as we progress through the certification, the ups and downs, and try and give tips based on our experience for anyone else inerested in gaining certification.
THANK YOU to those people not only kind enough to read this blog – but to also take the time to leave such positive comments. I am so thrilled. 🙂