Organic Guilt Free Green Tees from No Nasties

If like me, you’re always on the look-out for stylish, ethical fashion brands, look no further than No Nasties. No Nasties create fabulous organic cotton, fair trade t-shirts for men and women. Their clothes are great quality and very reasonably priced, their website informative and their branding fun and cute. Here you’ll see me modelling the Love is Black* tee available in white or peach.

You might have seen my recent post publishing the plight of Leah Borromeo who hopes to produce a feature documentary about Indian cotton farmer suicides, but needed more funds. Well they reached their crowd funding target and are going ahead with production, looking at the very same issues that No Nasties was set up to address. Issues such as these, posted on the No Nasties website:

30 minutes – That’s the rate at which farmers are committing suicide in India, 250,000 suicides in 15 years. One every half an hour!
60 million – That’s the number of child labourers in India

No Nasties are made from 100% organic cotton with eco-friendly manufacturing, water based dyes, clean working conditions and fair treatment of workers. The final tees are beautifully soft. Interestingly, the tees’ labelling picks up on something I looked into for my masters; the idea of providing ‘nutrition facts’ just like you get on food, clearly displaying the product’s qualities. Be sure to check out the No Nasties website for more info, and to order your own!

*Seems you lost your way last night
And you were back here by daylight
Now your words are black and cold
And your lines are tired and old
Nature is calming me
Because your love was harming me
And now I shed that coat of harm
I wasn’t safe there in your arms

Look out
Your love is black
(Kaskade . . . unrelated to No Nasties . . . just because)

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H&M World’s Largest User of Organic Cotton

H&M have confused me somewhat of late. They are a mass market, worldwide clothing brand where you can buy a vest top for £3.99, so technically I shouldn’t like them. But they have worked hard on developing their Conscious Collection and increased their use of sustainable materials. They are also the biggest user of organic cotton for the second consecutive year (2011), according to Textile Exchange´s latest Global Sustainable Textiles Market Report. H&M continued to increase its already world leading use of organic cotton further which is part of H&M´s strategic goal to only use more sustainable cotton by 2020.

“We congratulate H&M for again leading the list of the biggest users of certified organic cotton in the world. H&M’s ambitious program continues to drive demand for organic cotton and other more sustainable fibres. This supports farmers, encourages innovation and with its fashion forward Conscious Collections, H&M lifts more sustainable fashion to scale. This strategic work serves as a model for adopting and expanding the use of greener materials in the fashion industry.” states LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange.

The continued increase of organic cotton use is part of H&M´s performance against the ambitious goal to only use more sustainable cotton by 2020. H&M has been using certified organic cotton since 2004. All organic cotton used for H&M is independently certified and clothes are clearly labelled with a dedicated hangtag allowing consumers an informed choice.

Besides further increasing the use of certified organic cotton, H&M is also boosting the use of so called Better Cotton. As an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative (, H&M has invested more than EUR 2 million in total until 2013 in helping hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers to grow more cotton with less water and less chemicals through trainings conducted by Better Cotton Initiatives partner organisations such as WWF and Solidaridad.

As the mass market of the high street by far represents the majority of most of our wardrobes, it can only be a positive that brands like H&M are making significant changes to their supply chains.

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Funds Needed to Produce The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold

A team headed by director and journalist Leah Borromeo, a former foreign news editor at Sky News, are hoping to produce a feature documentary about Indian cotton farmer suicides (of which there have been nearly 300,000), pesticides and fashion.

The film will unpick why up to 26 Indian farmers a day have committed suicide and will trace the clothes we wear from seed to shop. They’ll meet cotton farmers, suppliers, loan sharks, manufacturers, designers, economists, environmentalists, corporations, shoppers – everyone from the fields and factories of India to the high streets and catwalks of London, asking the question, “when you bag a bargain, who pays for it?”

It is a fantastic project but really needs our support. When we think of ethical fashion, most people’s first thoughts are avoiding sweatshops whilst the cotton farmers are often forgotten, but with cotton demand at an all-time high, farmers across the world are struggling to keep up with the demands of the supply chain. Forced to use more and more pesticides, we are polluting our planet and pushing farmers into cycles of debt.

The makers behind the film say, ‘The narrative of the film will be hard-hitting and dark while hopefully getting audiences angry and excited enough to work for supply chain transparency.’

You can watch the trailer and read a bit more about the film here:

A private foundation is willing to put in £25,000, but that’s only if they can match it. They need another £8k to reach their crowdfund target of £18k before 9th November. We’ve had the TV shows about sweatshops, I really hope they pull this off and manage to build more awareness of this other part of the supply chain. It all starts with the farmer.

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Loving Monkee Genes Ethical Jeans and Chinos

I’ve known of Monkee Genes for a long time, but I’ve only just got a pair myself. I could see they were offering a great product – organic and ethical jeans, but I had the common internet shopping dilemma, ordering something online which I hadn’t tried on. Jeans are notoriously hard to shop for as we all know and if I’m spending £60+ I want them to be perfect without faffing around with exchanges.

Anyway, I was very lucky to pick up these chinos at the Shoreditch Swish (Monkee Genes had donated them) and they are lush! I also tried on their skinny jeans which were equally a perfect fit. The chinos have a lovely organic sateen finish and are a joy to wear.

You can find out more about Monkee Genes ethical credentials online, but I just wanted to share with you what a great product they really have. So if like me you had yet to get around to ordering some one-of-a-kind eco jeans, do it now!

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H+M Conscious Collection

Last week the High Street fashion chain H+M launched an ethics led collection called ‘Conscious’. The range is available for women, men and kids and uses organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel. I’m always a bit sceptical about large giants claiming to be ethical, there’s always the chance that they are using a small ethical range to move the sustainability limelight off their main collections. UK managing director Magnus Olsson said the retailer had made the commitment as customers were becoming increasingly interested in ethical sourcing. You could say if they really do care, why not use organic cotton and recycled materials across the whole collection? The answer is that there is simply not enough organic cotton available yet, which would make sourcing for a fast fashion retailer extremely difficult.

I am well aware that many people think ethical fashion is too expensive, well the Conscious collection does not fit into this generalisation. An organic women’s top is priced £7.99. H+M say they kept prices low by pre-booking large quantities of cotton. The result is an affordable, accessible and fashionable collection which I think is a great accomplishment for the retailer. If it is manufactured ethically as well, as they say it is, they make the whole process look rather easy! They also announced today that they have pledged to source all their cotton from sustainable sources by 2020.
Have a look at this video.

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