We were delighted to host the BBC Working Lunch team to Cotton Roots and Impact Trading. It was exciting to be filmed at work and a great boost to us all here. The reason they wanted to film us was to show our ethically sourced aprons, t shirts, polo shirts and hoodies. They are all either Fairtrade certified or organic garments.
I have been watching various clips on You Tube today showing cotton farmers around the world who are changing to organic and Fairtrade certified cotton. It was good to take the time to do this. Sometimes when business is tough I have doubt about how much we can invest into making this side of our business work. However watching these short films make me quietly more determined and somehow believing that it is not only the right decision for our suppliers in India but one that will be be a good one for us. It will need us to continue to go on ordering stock and believing. Call it a hunch or instinct I am still going along the path we have chosen. Just writing this in the blog, remembering the BBC here and all the telephone calls we have had from customers pleased to have found us makes it “stick” more in my mind.
Great news! Our sister company Impact Trading have won a good order from the marketing agency Brand Communications. This is to supply a large number of polo shirts, designed especially for their client. Because we are manufacturing for Brand we can’t let you know who the garments are for – shhhhh it’s confidential.
However we are working with a supplier in Pakistan and we are pleased to say that even though we have had to work to a tight price we have been able to supply WRAP certified garments. We were delighted. Not only that the factory is a gold rated WRAP factory.
WRAP certification means that the factory manufacturing the garments meets twelve basic criteria, in relation to employment rights. So it’s emphasis is upon the manufacturing stage rather that starting at the cotton producer stage which Fairtrade excels in. WRAP certification is growing more prevalent, it is a huge improvement and shows that the publicity and campaigning is starting to reap rewards.
Our top passion here at Cotton Roots is to supply Fairtrade certified clothing, but WRAP is big step in the right direction. We are so pleased that Brand Communications chose us to trust us, once again, with the manufacture and that ethical improved sourcing is part of the package.
WRAP certification information can be found on our certification page here, which includes links to the WRAP website for further information.
We started the process some time ago. The school in Bridgend have a very active eco committee run by pupils. They decided that they wanted to include ethical school uniform in their approach to sustainability and fairness.
The school is being rebuilt and they decided upon a new colour and a new style for their summer uniform and “re-launch” of the school. We are at the stage where they have been pleased with the final samples are we are ready to go into production. Purple with grey trim on the collar and cuffs, also the option of grey polo shirts with purple trim. Even if we do say so ourselves they really do look smart.
They will soon go into production ready for spring and summer next year. The best news? They are made with Fairtrade certified cotton from our cotton roots range.
This is the first secondary school customer we have who have chosen the Fairtrade cotton option. We have lots of primary schools who have Fairtrade uniform. So I am really pleased that the whole order is exciting………Fairtrade, bespoke, made especially for them, and that they are from my homeland South Wales.
If you know of a school considering Fairtrade or Fair Trade school uniform please put them in touch with us. They can ask for me, Susan, and we will work with them from design concept, sampling, right through to the final product.
I have recently spent a Saturday on a “keeping bees” workshop. It was riveting. I loved it. Sue Bird ran the workshop and as she has fifty bee hives she certainly knew her stuff. But it was obviously more than a business for her and she loved her bees. I came away loving them too and full of admiration for them.
Did you know that the worker bees are all female. That the queen bee makes one mating flight in her life and that the drones all think yipidy do da and race after her, elbows sharpened, in full buzz, to try and be “the one?” When the hive gets too full the old queen if slimmed down again (by feeding her less) so that she can fly again. She will then leave the hive taking a swarm with her and leaving a young queen in her place.
I wish Sue had a website I could point you in the direction of – her workshops are so worth going to.
Anyway back to business. Just at that moment Neal’s Yard Remedies came along and asked us to supply organic yellow t shirts. Printed with their “Bee Lovely to Bees” design. You see they have a campaign to help the endangered honey bee and have an online petition which you can sign here. They want to promote banning particular pesticides which directly impact Bees. SIGN UP!
Jenny worked hard on this order and the final result was certainly very effective. It was great that Cotton Roots organic t shirts were selected for this promotional campaign. We are proud to have supplied Organic and Fairtrade garments to another outstanding company. I was especially rewarding that it was right at the time I was learning all about keeping bees.
Redhill Primary School in Telford was one of our first customers to order Fair trade certified school t shirts. The print was designed by a pupil and each school “house” is printed in a different design.
Here, Bowen Liu is jumping for joy wearing his new t shirts – “Redhill plays Fair”
We think we are the first and the only company with Fairtrade certified school sweatshirts in stock. We now have red and navy and two school have started to order the stock.
It has been quite a long process. Lots of samples made my Morses in India, patterns made and re-made. Styles adapted until we were finally happy. Our Fairtrade cotton for the sweatshirts still comes from northern India in Gujarat. It will be interesting to see how many parents and schools will want them. Well perhaps more than interesting as this has been quite an adventure from start to the finished product. Continue reading Fairtrade School Uniform Sweatshirts→
The news is that we have received our stock of children’s primary school Fairtrade polo shirts. We now have white, red, sky blue and yellow. Better still we have four new schools who have chosen the Fairtrade route for their school uniform options.
I have found that schools often investigate Fairtrade school uniform when a committed parent gets involved. It seems that we are at the same stage that coffee and bananas were fifteen years or so ago. These committed people really do make an enormous impact. Bit by bit things happen.
Our white Fairtrade school polo shirts have been the biggest success along with the white Fairtrade school t shirts. While we are still taking orders for the coloured options the quantities are less.
At Cotton Roots we are still trying and committing our resources to ensure that schools can have a choice. One secondary school in my homeland Wales is really leading the way. They are having Fairtrade uniform made to order for them. I will give details in my next blog but in the meantime we are delighted to be supplying them 🙂 and I am very pleased and proud that the school is from the beautiful South Wales Valleys.