Soil to Soil - Soul to Soul

Soil to Soil - Soul to Soul

 We all generate waste of some description.

When we do, we might use the expression “throw it away” in the same sentence.

 In recent years though there has been a surge in the amount of us questioning where this place “away” actually is.

The clear truth is it doesn’t’ exist. When we throw something away it just becomes someone else’s problem.

In the UK in 2020 the UK exported a shocking 0.54 million tons of plastic to other countries and every year 700 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill.

But hiding things out of sight doesn’t solve the problem that is mounting in landfills around the world.

The solution needs to be built in at the start, to all the things we use in our life and no less importantly this needs to be applied to our clothes.

From conventional cotton production, which uses a staggering amount of pesticides, to petroleum-based toxic dyes, to exploited factory workers, there are many reasons that it is past time to transform the way our clothes are produced.

When we started Bedstraw + Madder we always envisaged a circular model, utilising resources, eliminating or repurposing waste whilst creating pieces that could return to the earth at end of life without contaminating it in the process.

The regular polyester elastic that is used in most knickers can takes up to 200 years to biodegrade. Where does that leave future generations?

We achieved our vision with our first product, our farm 2 fibre knickers which we call “soil to soil” – a term developed by Fibreshed, (an organisation who we partnered with in India to grow our cotton) which alludes to the close connection to the landscape that growing what you wear brings you.

 ethical clothing soil to soil

It also refers to the ability of our knickers to return to whence they came.

The use of natural rubber elastic means that our knickers will compost back to the soil within 6 months. Images speak louder than words. 

This is week 6 of being in the home compost. We already have separation from the elastic and large holes developing. 

composting knicker

Over the next few months we will be sharing our composting videos via our instagram channel.

Looking for a gift that doesn’t cost the earth? Check out our knicker range.

ETHICAL UNDERWEAR EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL: ROUND AND ABOUT MAGAZINE

regenerative sustainable fashion
Mother Nature and Nature's Mother

Mother Nature and Nature's Mother

Picture a farmer.

What do they look like? Are they tall or short? Are they dressed in dungarees, holding a shovel, in a tractor, wearing wellies? Are they Kaleb from Clarkson’s Farm?

Are they a man?

It’s a common misconception that most farmers are male – like many occupations, men seem to be the face of the farming world. In reality, women make up the majority of the cotton farming workforce in India – so much so that nearly 75% of full-time workers on India’s farms are, in fact, women.

And do you know what? They’re incredibly good at it. Women are integral to the cotton value chain – your clothing quite literally would not exist without them. But they are still undervalued by many; still underpaid for their work; and still disregarded despite their knowledge of the land. 

In India, women are often not recognised as farmers because the land is owned or leased to men. But this is nonsensical. We value women.

In traditional Indian farming communities, seed preservation has always been a women’s role. They have a unique connection to Mother Nature – an unrivalled understanding of it. They’re it’s kindest keepers.

Take Eswari, who lives in Erode, Southern India, where our cotton is grown. She is absolutely at home on the farm. If you ask her about the flora, her face will light up. She’ll immediately be able to point you in the direction of plants with healing properties. The land is her own personal hospital.

 

regenerative agriculture ethical sustainable fashion  

Eswari, on the farm in Erode, India.

But women also play a pivotal role in protecting our planet, despite (or perhaps, because of) being more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Research shows that the contributions of women lead to successful, long-term solutions to climate change & global warming.

We have to be careful when we use the word empowerment. It has been used by too many corporations, too many times, and with too little connection to any real impact. 

Pon Vaishali manages the farm where our cotton is grown. Although her interest in farming was inspired by her father, who specialised in organic turmeric and vegetables, Vaishali also has extensive theoretical knowledge from her agriculture degree. This included learning about low-impact farming practices, such as crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control and mechanical cultivation. Her knowledge makes our regenerative farm better.

Ultimately, we’re passionate about the lives of the women that are so ingrained in the land that grows our cotton. And any positive impact on women has a ripple effect on their households and communities; it’s exactly what we’re about – holistic outcomes for all – economic, social and environmental.

Because this is the regeneration generation. And we won’t settle for less.

 

 

 

EDITORIAL: DORSET MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL: DORSET MAGAZINE

organic cotton seeds, regenerative agriculture, craft

Seeds of Change PT I