All posts by Susan

Cotton Plant to Clothing

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we sell, make, brand and sew with cotton every day and knowing where and how it’s grown is something that is really important to us.  The cotton industry is one of the largest industries around the world and demand is growing all the time especially in the last few decades as the trend of fast fashion has risen.

Cotton comes from a plant called Gossypium which is grown in hot countries such as India, China and the southern states of the USA.

The plant is grown from seed which takes around 6 months from planting to harvesting. After around 5-7 weeks from sowing the seeds, the plant produces a bud which is called a square, these open up into flowers and pollination starts.  The flowers last for around 3 days starting as white in colour, then turning to yellow, pink and eventually dark red before they fall off leaving the boll.

Inside the boll, cotton fibres start to grow.  Once the boll has finished growing, it starts to fill up with cellulose which eventually bursts the boll open and the cotton spills out.  This is now ready for harvest and processing. 

It takes about 350 balls of cotton wool to make one shirt.

Feel Good Accessories

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we have a huge range of eco-friendly, Fairtrade, sustainable and recycled clothing which organisations and businesses buy from us and often brand.  As well as clothing we also offer a range of accessories which have ethical certifications. 

Recycled caps and bags which are made from organic or Fairtrade cotton. We also have options for hat, scarfs and bath towels, which come in Fairtrade and organic options. Lanyards made from 100% bamboo and dyed with water-based inks which are comfortable, strong, durable and naturally antibacterial.

All these items can be branded with print or embroidery to fit nicely in to your organisation or business as well as giving you the feel good factor.

For more information and quotes on these please contact us at sales@cottonroots.co.uk

A Spring Range for Barbie

The team at Impact Trading and Cotton Roots often take home waste fabrics or packaging to reuse at home, such as plastic garment bags used as small bin bags. 

This week we were delighted to get a photo from Jenny who works in our office, who had taken home some fabric scraps for her children who were keen to make some new clothes for their Barbie dolls.

We were delighted to see that they had created an entire spring range that any self-respecting Barbie would be glad to be seen in.  We all agreed that Jenny’s daughters are definitely heading towards a career in sustainable fashion!

A Sweetener for You

Our new organic, Fairtrade clothing is a brilliant addition to our ethical range and we wanted to tell you more about it’s story. 

Fairtrade Organic T Shirts available from www.cottonroots.co.uk

Cotton is grown in hot countries such as India and China and is susceptible to a wide range of insect pests, these are usually controlled with a range of chemical pesticides.

Our organic cotton clothing has a whole new approach to this problem.  The farmers spray the cotton with a sugar water solution which attracts the ants.  Ants love to eat the sugar on the cotton plants and so they defend it from pest attacks.  Happy ants, pest free cotton. 

The Fairtrade organic clothing we sell is made in India and the cotton is grown there, it is picked by hand so using natural pesticides means that the farmers and pickers are also healthy.

Amazing Grains

We recently embroidered some of our Fairtrade Organic aprons for a local bakery in Olney called Amazing-Grains.  Knowing that Olney was the home of the hymn Amazing Grace we were interested to know more about the bakery and its name.

Gareth the owner was made redundant after a 30 year career in IT, he realised that his heart no longer belonged in the corporate world.

Over the years, extensive travel had opened his eyes to the fact that most other countries held bread in high esteem unlike the industrialised products passed on as bread for the lowest possible price in the UK. So after dabbling in food distribution, Gareth decided to address this issue by learning to bake “real bread”, using good quality ingredients, and an honest approach. Sales began with friends, then from the local pub, to deliveries 5 days a week, all produced from a 30 Sq ft kitchen in a tiny 2 bed cottage in Emberton, just outside Olney in North Buckinghamshire.

Now baking 4 days a week from a converted workshop in East St in Olney, Amazing-Grains produces around 300 loaves a week, using only natural ingredients, time and no processing aids, to produce breads with a flavour, second to none.

The name of the bakery was based on the hymn Amazing Grace written by the curate of Olney, John Newton and published in 1779. It is one of the most recognisable songs in the English-speaking world.

We love supplying aprons to local businesses and particularly to one that has such an interesting story. You can find about more about Amazing Grains HERE

Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 25th Feb – 10th March 2019

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.

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we supply many businesses and groups with Fairtrade Organic clothing and have a wide range of colours in t shirts, polos, sweatshirts, hoodies as well as children’s clothing

We also supply beautiful heavyweight Fairtrade, Organic cotton Aprons

All of these products can be printed and embroidered with your branding or supplied plain.

For more information please visit:

www.cottonroots.co.uk
www.impacttrading.co.uk

New Fairtrade, Organic range at Cotton Roots

We are really excited to announce that we now have a whole new range of Fairtrade Organic products available online from Cotton Roots just in time for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Not only are they Fairtrade and Organic products but there are lots of other great things about them.   Their buttons are made using waste cotton which is compressed and coloured to match the garments. The swing tags are also made from the waste cotton made into paper.

The range consists of t shirts, long and short sleeve in a selection of styles, polo shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and zipped hoodies.  Most of the garments come in men’s, ladies as well as unisex fit and most have a wide range of colours to choose.

We also have a children’s range with t shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, which come in a bright selection of colours.

If there is something you need which isn’t on our website please get in touch with us as we have other products available in the range.

sales@cottonroots.co.uk
01908 511051

Crafting Aprons – Britain & Bangkok

I loved this video.

Sometimes with our team working and designing aprons for our customers it’s like going back in time.

People marking patterns, adding eyelets, cutting, sewing, measuring. 

We are in the British countryside rather than Bangkok but the similarities are there. We manufacture aprons for Michelin Chefs, TV Chefs, high street restaurants, artisans, people with enthusiasm for quality and design.

Design team seep in discussion – apron concept and design and manufacture for customer

Our people love fabric.  Hording at home and a treasure trove of new fabric arriving daily to our workplace.  New designs for customers and a pride in what we create.

pride noun (SATISFACTION) ​ B2 [ U ] a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that you get because you or people connected with you have done or got something good

Crafting an apron from YellowStuff Bangkok on Vimeo.

Fairtrade Ideas for Schools in Fairtrade Fortnight – Newsletter

We have decided to post copies of our newsletters which we email out to our supporters. This one was designed to let our customers know about some our our new supplies which we hope they might be interested in.

We love supporting Fairtrade and our range is ever increasing.

The newsletter includes Fairtrade and organic T Shirts, Tea Towels, Tote Bags – all plain ready for printing with fabric pencils or pens by school children.  If we are sent photographs of any final results we will create a gallery on our blog of the resulting designs.  Maybe rustle up a Fairtrade prize or two!

Our new supplies with Fairtrade Fortnight in Mind
Our new supplies with Fairtrade Fortnight in Mind

Change Your Shoes

I have become addicted to YouTube.  Second only to The Guardian and The BBC website. How come the internet can become so addictive?  I am reasonably confident that in the future I will not look back, sigh fondly and think “I’m so pleased I looked at the news incessantly”.   However……YouTube is the new thing for me.  We are developing our own channel and while meandering around the eclectic, sprawling, enlightening, frightening, unpleasant, inspiring range of videos,  I came across this one – Change Your Shoes.

There is an app to support it so that I could go on a virtual march to Brussels. At the end of the campaign there will be a petition asking EU policy makers to prioritise regulating the shoe industry. When we purchase clothing, shoes, food, anything really, it is so easy to just not even think about how they were made and who made them. Sometimes we want to close our eyes and shut down our curiosity because the whole world seems such a crazy, barbaric, place and it can feel overwhelming.   Especially if you watch as much news channels as I do – the bad stuff gets all the headlines.

But I can make a difference.  Watching this video made me feel positive.  Because it reminded me – if I ask a few questions when I buy things, is this local produce when I eat in a restaurant? Who made these shoes and what do you know about them? How were these handbags made, who made them?   Its not enough that they look or taste beautiful – who made them, how they were treated, what they are made of, has an influence on how beautiful they really are.

What Daisy Did is a local company who really do know who make their handbags.  I have a bag and a purse and two of my friends following Christmas have bags and my niece a purse.  These bags really are beautiful inside and out – whenever someone says “I love your bag Susan” I immediately launch into the sustainable, ethical, story behind each of them.

Here at Cotton Roots our range of Fairtrade clothing and textiles is also beautiful and fascinating to me. I adore knowing where the cotton came from – Pratima Organic Growers Group in Odisha India, that Sreeranga has organised our order for us, that Armstrong Knitting Mills spun the cotton for us, that Suvastra made the items for us.

Our new delivery of Fairtrade tea towels and Fairtrade shopping bags thrill me.

Sign up for the virtual march to Brussels on the app here