Tag Archives: ethical

What is Cotton in Conversion?

Cotton in conversion or transitional cotton, is cotton which is on a journey to being organic.

Organic cotton is grown under strict regulations, such as no use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms, which allows it to be certified as organic.

Selvedge of organic fabric

Organic cotton must be grown on land which is clear of these chemicals for usually 3 years.  Historically, this meant that farmers couldn’t use the chemicals when growing cotton, for 3 years, but would only be able to charge for standard cotton prices.  Cotton in conversion is a bridge which allows farmers to charge an intermediate price while they are converting from conventional farming to organic farming. 

The demand for organic cotton fibres in the clothing industry is rapidly growing so the conversion process is essential for meeting the future demands.

If you would like more information on organic clothing please contact us here

Clothing from Flour Sacks

I was talking to a group of ladies at a local sewing group and they told me all about how women used to repurpose flour sacks into dresses and clothes in the 1930’s during the great depression, when money was very tight.

The flour companies heard this was going on so they decided to start printing the flour sacks with patterns so that the clothing looked pretty. Some of them even came printed with instructions which would then wash out. You can read more about this and see images here.

When the clothes wore out, the fabric was reused again by being cut up and used for quilts.  When the 2nd world war began cotton was rationed for soldier’s uniforms so flour was packaged in paper bags and still is today.

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots, we manufacture aprons and we have made them for customers from coffee sacks. Another great way to upcycle waste fabric. You can order coffee sack aprons from here.

Starting a Fashion Brand

We often get enquires from customers who are looking to start their own fashion brand. Sometimes they want ethical clothing such as Fairtrade or Organically certified products.
Often, they start with a small quantity of ready made, rebrandable items which can be labelled, printed and embroidered with the brand designs. This is a great way to start
At Cotton Roots we have tried to make this process simple by having a small selection of items which the customer can choose from look at the range here.

The minimum order level is 100 items which means you have options for a few items in a range of colours and sizes. The prices include the sewing in of a label which the customer can supply or can order direct from us here. For any print or embroidery on the garments, we can quote for this once the artwork has been supplied.


This process simplifies the first steps of starting a fashion business, we can then supply repeat orders of the same or increase quantities, at this point a customer may decide to start manufacturing clothing from scratch.

Buy Once, Buy Well

Over the last 50 years in the UK, buying habits have dramatically changed.  Buying an item of clothing, furniture or homeware used to be after much deliberation, something that was researched, considered and saved up for. 

For many reasons this changed, possibly with the introduction of credit which enabled instant gratification and the introduction of mass produced cheaper products. This meant that the general population could buy new things without much thought or consideration.  Often, once the initial excitement is over; and maybe the fashion has moved on, this will be discarded and replaced with the next latest product.

Waste is a huge problem for the world, and one which has been created largely by this shift in purchasing.  Educating people in the wisdom and satisfaction of saving up, considered purchases for a better quality, longer lasting product is one of the ways we can help to reverse the trend.

Have a look at our range of ethical uniform and workwear click here

Men’s Jacket Made with Recycled Fibres

Your Brand

Over the past few months the world has been turned upside down in a way that we have never seen before in our lifetime.  During this time the business world has seen winners and losers and will continue to do so over the coming years. 

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we have seen this as a time for change and reflection.  It has helped us look at new opportunities and ways to grow and one thing that is definitely clear is that British and ethical manufacturing is becoming more and more important to our customers. 

This has paved the way for us to help new ethically led fashion brands start up in an easy and cost effective way by introducing the ‘Your Brand’ section to our Cotton Roots website. 

A catalogue of organic cotton and recycled fabric unbranded stock garments that can be branded with the customer’s own label, embroidery and print

Each garment is priced to include the professional sewing in of a label, this can either be supplied by us or by the customer.  They can then opt to add on embroidery or print to customise the garment. Orders in the ‘My Brand’ range can start from as little as 50 mixed garments which makes it a low cost start up investment.

If you would like to browse the range of ethical clothing in the range please visit our website, if you would like more information or a quote please contact us on 01908 511051 or email emily@cottonroots.co.uk.

Let Fairtrade Fortnight inspire you to make the change

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the ethical and environmental impacts of low quality low cost clothing, more and more businesses and organisations are turning towards Fairtrade, organic and recycled options. 

At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we have noticed a significant move towards this recently and the great news is that the increased demand has meant that there has been a sharp rise in products available with regards to garment ranges and colours. In the next month we will be adding a range of new products including recycled fleeces, softshells, performance tops and jackets. We are also expanding our range of organic and vegan clothing.

Fairtrade organic polo shirts come in men’s and ladies in a wide range of colours. Click here to see the range

This Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from the 24th February to 8th March 2020, we are hoping that more companies will start to consider the move towards ethical and sustainable options for their future uniform and work wear solutions.

To find out more please visit our website www.cottonroots.co.uk or call us on 01908 511051