Organic Fabrics & Ethical Trading Standards Many manufacturers are now producing products that come from an organic source, and are also produced with good Ethical Trading Standards. Consumer demand has influenced the type of products we now wish to buy. Therefore, many companies are producing a variety of ‘good quality’ products that have been produced from an organic and politically sustainable source. Why is this type of product necessary, and how can we as a consumer help to promote such goods and ? Cotton is one of the most environmentally destructive agricultural crops, annually using over 275 million pounds of pesticides in the US alone. This is in addition to massive quantities of fertilizers, defoliants, growth regulators, and general biocides. What type of organic crops are grown? Organic cotton (cotton if grown in an organic way is very good) Hemp ( yields well) Linen (one of the oldest fibres known to man) Bamboo (highly absorbent) Nettle (once established remains in production for several years) Kenaf (grows fast and yields up to six times a year) Ramie (commonly known as Chinese grass, white ramie, green ramie) Quinoa (slow to grow) Hemp is so gentle on the land that it can be grown year after year in the same location. The Many Benefits Of Hemp Agriculture Hemp is the most environmentally positive crop, improving soil quality as it grows. It requires no herbicides and is naturally resistant to insects, fungus, and other pests. Hemp grows rapidly during its vegetative period, becoming tall and thick. It suppresses weeds, and shades and mulches the ground, which its deep taproots break up and aerate. These attributes promote healthy microbial soil life and leave the earth in a condition where it is easily worked and able to retain moisture during the next growing season. Hemp Products Striped Vegan Organic Hemp Beanie Born of Nature Newborn Tee and Pants Set The production of bamboo fibre around the world happens by two different processes, -- the chemical method and the mechanical way, which is more labor intensive. The chemical process releases a larger amount of toxins. The mechanical process is more labor intensive and more costly, but produces significantly less pollution. Because of the production costs bamboo products are still very expensive to buy. Unbeatable for natural softness, with a beautiful silky lustre, these towels are 4 times more absorbent than cotton towels. Bamboo's natural antibacterial properties and softness are especially suitable for the most sensitive skin. Bamboo Towel When we produce Textiles we need to think about the work force why? Why we need to promote Ethical Trading Standards in the Textile Industry Video Katharine Hamnett ‘Clean up or Die’, katharinehamnett.com Labour issues It employs a billion people: (one in six of the world’s population). Labour and pay conditions for millions of garment, shoe and textile workers are appalling. Many cotton farmers are living in conditions worse than slavery and in its quest for cheaper and cheaper manufacturing prices it is now condemning people across the world to terrible lives. At the same time it creates unemployment in Western economies, with manufacturing job flight to cheap labour areas in countries with appalling human rights records like China, Burma, Philippines and Mexico. The fact that China was allowed into the World Trade Organisation beggars belief and is also one of the great missed opportunities of the 20th century to turn a police state into a democracy. Insisting on imposing environmental standards as a condition for trade will have one of two effects. Either it will create substantial tension with emerging economies, who rightly claim that today's advanced economies ignored the environment when they grew rich. In this case the efforts will be unsuccessful and the political consequences harmful. Or else the efforts will be successful, but at the cost of condemning billions of people in emerging economies to continued poverty. But that would be self-defeating, since history shows that people care more about the environment the richer they are. Ultimately, the best way to improve the world's environment is to help poor countries grow rich. An easy way to do that is to practice free trade. Across the developing world at least a thousand free trade zones have been created. Known as Export Processing Zones (EPZ’s) and employing over 27 million workers, they are industrial areas, where, typically factory owners pay no tax, the minimum wage is suspended and safety is neglected. Get ‘yourselves’ onto Katharine’s sites and Myspace.com and find out what she has researched. The dollar a day dress - a guide Alpaca wool from Peru In Peru, farmers face the loss of the country's most valuable resource, as the quality and price of wool from the famed Andean alpaca suffers from poor breeding methods. The animals' wool is one of the world's most luxurious and expensive fabrics. In Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, farmers were encouraged to grow cotton. But as cotton prices on the world market drops, they face what critics call unfair competition from heavily subsidised US cotton farmers. The West gives fifty billion dollars every year in aid but over three hundred billion dollars in subsidies to its own farmers. 20,000 people die every year from accidental pesticide poisoning in conventional cotton agriculture (World Health Organisation). Death by starvation is alarmingly prevalent and 200,000 cotton farmers commit suicide annually due to spiralling debts incurred from buying pesticides. A further 1,000,000 people a year suffer from long-term pesticide poisoning (Pesticide Action Network).