Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chic Upcycling – Coffee Sack Aprons

We have been making bespoke aprons at Impact Trading and Cotton Roots for a few years now and it’s lovely to create new and exciting designs, but as a company that strives to be ethically and environmentally driven we wanted to find something that is normally considered a waste product that we could re-purpose into something new and beautiful. 

After some searching and a shout out on Facebook we were able to source some old coffee sacks which we brought back to HQ and gave to the design team.  What they came up with superseded all our expectations, two aprons, one which is lined and one which is cross backed and finished to an amazing quality.

We loved them and couldn’t wait to show people on our social media channels.  We love that they all have a variety of prints on them and no two are the same.

If you would like more information or would like to make an order please get in touch on 01908 511051 or sales@cottonroots.co.uk

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

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

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.

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 

 

New – Fairtrade Certified Shopping Bags

Yes! We have added to our Cotton Roots  Fairtrade range of  products.

With Fairtrade Fortnight fast approaching I thought to myself – shall we take the plunge and have some shoppers made for us – and decided Yes!  It’s is always exciting to me when we take that jump and add that extra item to our range.

Our bags will be plain and ready for us to print for our customers with their design.

Cotton Shopper

The Cotton Roots shopping bags will be made of 100% Fairtrade certified cotton and will be organic cotton as well.  We have had a number of requests from some of our customers for a while now, so we will stock bags 37cm x 42cm with a 65cm handle.

When customers want Fairtrade certified bags at a specific size, we will be able to make them to order.  If ordered in larger quantities we will be able to reduce the price.

Fairtrade & Organic bags made to order for customers

The cotton for our new Fairtrade certified bags is grown by Pratima Organic Growers Group in India.  Sreeranga has organised the swift manufacture of them so we receive them in January – in plenty of time for Fairtrade Fornight – more information here.

T Shirt Fairtrade desiged by school childrenIn previous years primary schools have ordered white Fairtrade certified t-shirts and children have designed pictures to be printed on the front.

We hope that this year our shopping bags might be suitable and we may even offer tea towels.  Mmmmm – I am thinking – shall we take the next jump and stock these too?

 

Hanslope Wallaby at Work! What?

Our premises are on the beautiful Rose Lane Farm in Hanslope.   A stunning place to work.

We see hares, a little owl nest in the neighbouring tree, buzzards, kites, rabbits, mice, frogs, and sky larks,  In fact Roy Courtesan takes great care to leave space clear within certain fields for the skylarks, and maintains paths for ramblers.

We approach work on a long drive through wheat fields.  But today there was a visitor to the fields.  A group of ramblers spotted a albino wallaby in the top field!  Hanslope village has a wallaby.

Here is the video they took.  http://bcove.me/mpjqr9vb  (Sorry about the advert for the first few seconds I couldn’t get a video without it).

Hanslope Wallaby

Well.  I am excited to say the least.

I have dug out my binoculars and sent a text to the rest of the team.  Tomorrow we will have a break from work and go wallaby watching.  After you only live once, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Yup a wallaby at work – not a wally.

Can’t wait.

Go green with these apps

Put your hands up if you are trying to live a little bit greener. Okay, you can put them down now! At Cotton Roots, we are certainly trying to live life sustainably, but knowing what to buy, what not to buy, what to eat, what not to eat, how to dispose of things… these can all leave you scratching your head from time to time. But did you know your phone can actually help you go greener? 

The internet is full of articles about sustainability, which is great for when you’ve got the time to read them, but when it comes to your daily lives and your busy schedule, sometimes you might need a little reminder. Now there are apps available that can put actionable challenges right at the tips of your fingers, no matter where you are. Since smartphones arrived in our lives, there’s a world of possibilities  to help you embrace a sustainable lifestyle. From reducing your carbon footprint, to protecting the environment, here are some of the best apps for green living:

JouleBug

Joulebug “make sustainable living social, simple, and actually fun.”

This app rewards you for being sustainable, and with rewards comes more encouragement to be more sustainable! You can download the app and earn points every time you make a sustainable decision, like biking to work instead of driving. You can earn badges and pins and compete with your friends on Twitter and Facebook to do your environmental part. The badges get more difficult, and more rewarding, as you earn more points. Each badge comes with visual, informative content that provides the knowledge and motivation you need to make small but significant changes in your daily habits. Not only that, it also helps you save money and cut down on your carbon footprint.

  • Earn pins, badges and points for discovering new ways to go green
  • Buzz every time you do something sustainable – every time you Buzz something, you’ll be helping the planet. JouleBug measures the impact for you, all you’ve got to do is Buzz it.
  • Compete in challenges to see who’s the greenest
  • Join communities to learn the latest on sustainability near you
  • Share how you are making a difference

8292958010_e3d456a22c_ocredit: Gonzalo Baeza/ CC BY

UNEP Carbon Calculator

This app allows you to calculate your impact to the environment. Greenhouse gases have some of the worst effects on global climate change. The UNEP Carbon Calculator lets you calculate how much CO2 is given off when you travel i.e driving to work, taking a train or flying somewhere. Users  can then convert their personal carbon footprint for journeys taken by air, train or road. They will then be shown the equivalent area of a particular ecosystem (such as a tropical forest) that can absorb this amount of carbon dioxide.

Green Retail 

The Green retail app is perfect for small shops and retailers as it helps save on water, energy and waste. Once downloaded, the Green Retail App will give small retailers videos, practical tools and advice on how to be more efficient. The retail sector has the potential to make huge efficiency savings and this app helps them realise savings where they can and to make their businesses more efficient. It includes quick guides to:

  • Energy Saving
  • Water Efficiency
  • Reducing Waste
  • Managing Waste
  • Sustainable Procurement
  • Storing & Handling Goods

RIPPL

Rippl is a free mobile app that helps you make simple, sustainable choices by delivering weekly green living tips. Each tip is designed to help transform your habits, save you money and help you live a greener life. We often set out with the best of intentions such as taking reusable bags for food shopping, or switching off the lights when they aren’t being used but sometimes we forget, and Rippl is your reminder! RIPPL includes:

  • Free green living tips to help improve your day-to-day habits
  • Ability to set goals and track your progress to show your impact
  • Science-based recommendations for proven ways to help grow a healthy environment
  • Opportunity to suggest your own tips to the community and share your success with your friends

The Recycle App

The recycle app gives real-time reporting and recycling for local authorities. Can you never remember which week is green bin or black bin? Then this is the app for you! It also allows you to set collection reminders, so you’ll never forget to recycle and it gives you a real-time map of “Recycling & Waste Points” within your local area.

Fair Trade Organic Certified Hoodies for Schools and Students

Our shipment of Fair trade organic hoodies for students arrived a few weeks ago. Hurray!

All made especially for us in India.

Fair trade & Organic Cotton Spun for our Fair Trade Hoodies
Cotton Ready spun for Our Fair Trade Hoodies

 

It has been exciting, impatiently waiting for them to arrive. Now the warehouse is filled to the brim with boxes full of them. We have royal blue, red, navy and black. We thought students would be interested in them as these young people seem to be particularly socially aware, committed to Fair Trade, and want to take action.
We thought the interest would come from students at college or university.
But after only a few weeks of the hoodies being delivered we have had lots of interest from schools. They pupils want to wear Fair trade garments for school trips and special events. We embroider or print logos or designs created by pupils onto them. I have enjoyed talking directly with six formers who have been a pleasure to collaborate with. It is these young people who are taking responsibility for placing and looking after orders for their groups and teams.

In a nutshell early days yet but it looks like we have a Fair Trade garment that is going to be popular – which means that we can we can order more, help create fairer working conditions in the garment industry in India.

www.cottonroots.co.uk 01908 290482

We supplied a School with Fairtrade Polo Shirts in Costa Rica!

We were excited again here at bonny Cotton Roots.  This has to be the customer who lives the furthest away from us.

The Centro Billingue Waldof in Costa Rica placed an order with us for yellow Fairtrade certified polo shirts for the pupils of the school.  We embroidered them with their logo……….. here it is –

The logo embroidered onto Fairtrade cotton polo shirt fabric

It odes make us very proud to be selected.  I am an admirer of Rudolf Steiner and think I would have loved to have been taught at a Waldorf school myself when I was a child.

The gallery at the school website is really special.  Take a look please!  here is a link  Centro Billingue Waldorf.  You can also find out about the philosophy of Steiner.  Thank you Veronica for asking us to supply you.

We are talking to a UK school based on the same principles so are hopeful of working with them too.  It’s a bit hush hush at the moment. Shhhhh

My dream of course to work in some way, one day, with the school based at the Findhorn Foundation.  That would be a circle. Ahhh