Why did I choose to include organic cotton products in the Anna Frances Healing™ merchandise range?

Pictured: Organic cotton Womens/Unisex ‘Where do I fit in my cultural landscape?’ t-shirt from the Bi in the 2000s™ merch collection.

When thinking about doing any kind of product launch or sales of any merchandise collection, I always try and make decisions that reflect my attitudes towards environmental issues. I wanted to create a range that had the environment in mind, as well as being made of fabric that’s kind to your skin, with as little harmful chemicals or pollutants both in the material, and in the earth, as possible. For me, using a fabric made with 100% natural fibre was the obvious solution, and with the multiple benefits of organic cotton farming, I couldn’t see any better reason than to always choose organic cotton where possible.

Below are 5 facts about organic cotton farming from the Soil Association (2021):

‘1. Combats climate change

Organic farmers use natural methods to grow cotton, not fossil-fuel based fertilisers. By working with nature, farmers build healthy soils which store carbon and help to combat climate change. Organic cotton emits up to 46% less greenhouse gas than non-organic.

2. Saves precious water

Organic cotton is better for water than conventionally produced cotton. Organic farming creates healthy soils, which act like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer in times of drought. Hazardous synthetic pesticides and fertilisers are banned in organic farming, so rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner too.

3. Helps farmers feed their families

Organic farmers always grow other crops alongside their cotton. These crops can provide farming families and their communities with a more stable, accessible, abundant and diverse food supply and another source of income.

4. Gives control to farmers not GM companies

Genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned in organic farming, so farmers are not reliant on a handful of GM companies. Instead, they save their seeds year after year, and work with the environment in a long-term, sustainable way.

5. Eliminates hazardous synthetic pesticides

Organic farmers use natural methods like crop rotation to control pests and diseases, not chemical cocktails. Hazardous synthetic pesticides used in non-organic farming can damage ecosystems, poison waterways and endanger workers who can’t always afford safety equipment needed to protect them. Conventional cotton alone is responsible for 16% of all insecticides sold worldwide’

I think that environmental impact is always an important thing to consider, as a business owner and an entrepreneur, and as my business grows, I think my choices about the kinds of products I include become more and more relevant.

I’m pleased that there are certainly a lot of conversations already being had around the benefits of organic farming more broadly, and I’m hoping the future’s bright for organic farming to continue to flourish. On a personal level I always try and shop organic where possible, and I honestly don’t see much of a price difference, especially if you buy local fruit and veg boxes locally, for example.

At the moment, I think organic material in fashion is still relatively niche, especially if you look at the larger retailers, but I can still see this changing quite dramatically in the future. Here’s to a brighter future for organic farming, and for the way we think about shopping for our clothes more generally 🙂

You can check out my merch by clicking on the ‘Shop’ button on the left of this page on the menu panel, or visiting anna-frances.com/shop.

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