Organic Tote Bags – EarthPositive

This is the latest addition to the EarthPositive® product range: organic and low carbon, screen printable, Tote Bags.

earthpositive1

There is a growing demand for ethically and environmentally credible bags, as more and more retailers, brands, corporate and promotional users are no longer content with using cheap cotton carriers as an alternative to plastic bags.

The rising levels of awareness mean the users of such products demand the same high values of the bags as they do of their cotton clothing.

Corporate and retail brands wish to communicate their ethical messages using an equally ethical communication medium.

The EarthPositive® Organic Shopper Tote (code EP70) is a plain weave, fine gauge canvas bag in undyed natural cotton, in the standard shopper tote dimensions (38x42cm) with long shoulder straps. The smooth fabric provides an ideal surface for screen-printing. This is the ultimate ‘sustainable’ shopper bag.

The EarthPositive® Organic Fashion Tote (code EP75) is a premium weight, twill weave cotton bag, with quality stitching detail, produced in a range of seven vibrant colours. This product is designed to meet the demand for a bag as a ‘fashion accessory with a conscience’ in a market place where the vast majority of similar products are produced in cheap quality raw fabrics of unknown origin. Again this bag is perfect for screen printing.

View our main website: www.october.co.uk
T shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery

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InterSélection SPRING/SUMMER 2008 TRENDS | Trends, Tshirts and decoration

InterSélection

SPRING/SUMMER 2008 TRENDS

The positive influence of sport revitalizes the codes of urban chic. The functional wardrobe, technical fabrics and details with an «active sport» connotation come into play for very cool fashion.

SPORTS – CHIC

Pale neutrals, dirty or refreshed pastels, to mix together, to disrupt with bright and unexpected accents. Scroopy hands, nylons and light cottons. «Cheap silky fabrics», plain weave silk, viscose twills. Shirting, solid and striped poplins, end-and end, oxfords, chambrays. Satins again and again! Fleece, terries, stretch fluid or chiné jerseys. Continuation of knits in bamboo and soybean, and organic cotton.

ETHNO – MIX

Culture of paradox, play of contrasts, new aesthetic rules. Heritage resources are drawn on to embellish and dream up a modern and effortless wardrobe. Unostentatiously sumptuous, floral colors evoke the exoticism and magic of dyes. Contrasting harmonies or faux monochromes are neutralized with faded tones. Light silky fabrics, taffetas, crêpes de Chine, satins. Glossy cottons, cotton sateen. Soft casual wear, heavy canvas, softened washed basket weave cottons, ring spun denim. Linen, hemp, textured rather than rustic! Oversize decoration. Japanese-style florals, plant landscapes, tattoos, bou-bou patterns, Madras checks, knit jacquards with stripe and basketwork motifs.

Also view our main site:
http://www.october.co.uk
tshirt printing, screen printing, embroidery
to be remarkable

InterSélection SPRING/SUMMER 2008 TRENDS | Fashion Trendsetter

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Organic Clothing Labels – October Textiles Ltd

Having made the commitment to use organic garments and water based inks, the next obvious question is ‘What about my labels, are they organic too?’

Well now the answer can be ‘Yes’. Obviously they have to be printed as a woven label uses man made fibres, but add an organic swing ticket, and the garment is well presented while ticking the right ecological boxes – long live the polar bears.

www.october.co.uk
t shirt printing, screen printing, embroidery


> BOYCOTT UZBEK COTTON

“Do you know where your cotton comes from?” If you knew what you are wearing, you might be ashamed.

What Continental® CAN do, is to guarantee that the cotton we use does not come from Uzbekistan. (Continental® uses Turkish & Egyptian cotton.)

uzbek

To substantiate this, each of the factories Continental uses, in Turkey and India, have prepared the paperwork for both the organic and non-organic cotton, to show the source of the raw cotton. It took only four days to prepare the documentation, and the documentation had to show the receipt of the cotton as it travels up the supply chain of the manufacturing processes.

With that guaranteed, you can now sleep a little better at night, however, if you wish to learn more, read on… but I warn you, it does not make happy reading if you are in any way involved in purchasing or re-selling cotton apparel…

Uzbekistan is the third largest cotton exporter in the world. About one in four of all cotton garments sold in the UK contain a percentage of Uzbek cotton fibres. The first problem is that the Uzbek regime is responsible for torture, slave labour and a continuing environmental disaster on an unimaginable scale – all in the name of cotton production. The second problem is that they don’t tell you on the clothing labels in stores where the cotton fibres came from, just where the garment was manufactured. The truth about the Uzbek cotton industry makes horrific reading, and I only reproduce here a fraction of what I have read. I do this, not to be sensationalist, but because we can actually do something about this, by raising awareness in our industry, and encouraging other manufacturers to follow suit or lose their reputation – and ultimately lose sales. In the near future, in the current climate, unethical business practises will simply not be profitable.

Don’t take my word for it. What follows is abreviated passages from the executive summary from the International Crisis Group report on Central Asian cotton of March 2005:

The Uzbek cotton industry is a disastrous aberration created by Soviet central planning. Over 80% of the loss of water from the Aral Sea is due to irrigation for the Uzbek cotton industry, so it is responsible for one of the World’s greatest environmental disasters. On most agricultural land in Uzbekistan, cotton has been grown as a monoculture for fifty years, with no rotation. This of course exhausts the soil and encourages pests. As a result the cotton industry employs massive quantities of pesticide and fertiliser. As a result it is not just that the Aral Sea is disappearing, but that and fertilisers, with no rotation.the whole area of the former sea suffers appalling pollution, reflected in appalling levels of disease. Uzbek farm workers are tied to the farm. They need a propusk (visa) to move away – which they won’t get. The state farm worker normally gets two dollars a month. Their living and nutritional standards would improve greatly if, rather than grow cotton, they had a little area to grow subsistence crops.

There are no independent research institutes allowed in Uzbekistan. In fact the proportion of the population enslaved on state cotton farms is closer to 60% than 40%.

The cotton industry in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan contributes to political repression, economic stagnation, widespread poverty and environmental degradation. The economics of Central Asian cotton are simple and exploitative. Millions of the rural poor work for little or no reward growing and harvesting the crop. The considerable profits go either to the state or small elites with powerful political ties. Forced and child labour and other abuses are common.

This system is only sustainable under conditions of political repression, which can be used to mobilise workers at less than market cost. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are among the world’s most repressive states, with no free elections. Opposition activists and human rights defenders are subject to persecution. The lack of a free media allows many abuses to go unreported. Unelected local governments are usually complicit in abuses, since they have little or no accountability to the population. Cotton producers have an interest in continuing these corrupt and non-democratic regimes.The industry relies on cheap labour. Schoolchildren are still regularly required to spend up to two months in the cotton fields in Uzbekistan. Despite official denials, child labour is still in use in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Students in all three countries must miss their classes to pick cotton. Little attention is paid to the conditions in which children and students work. Every year some fall ill or die.

Women do much of the hard manual labour in cotton fields, and reap almost none of the benefits. Cash wages are minimal, and often paid late or not at all. In most cotton-producing areas, growers are among the poorest elements in society.

The environmental costs of the monoculture have been devastating. The depletion of the Aral Sea is the result of intensive irrigation to fuel cotton production. The region around the sea has appalling public health and ecological problems. Even further upstream, increased salinisation and desertification of land have a major impact on the environment. Disputes over water usage cause tension among Central Asian states. Reforming the cotton sector is not easy. Central Asian cotton is traded internationally by major European and U.S. corporations; its production is financed by Western banks, and the final product ends up in well-known clothes outlets in Western countries. But neither the international cotton trading companies nor the clothing manufacturers pay much attention to the conditions in which the cotton is produced. Nor have international organisations or IFIs done much to address the abuses. U.S. and EU subsidy regimes for their own farmers make long-term change more difficult by depressing world prices.

Three years ago Craig Murray, our British ambassador to Uzbekistan, had a sense-of-humour failure about Britain condoning torture there. His fate? The Foreign Office fired him. Labour or Conservative? It doesn’t really matter does it, they are all the same.

To effect immediate change, you should demand that your apparel manufacturer state on their garment labels where their cotton comes from, and that it does not come from Uzbekistan. With the vast volume of T-shirts bought and sold, the message will quickly spread, and High Street retail will follow. Why am I doing this? As a large user of cotton, and with our influential position in the T-shirt industry, Continental Clothing has an opportunity, if not even a responsibility, to raise awareness and promote consumer action on issues where we feel strongly – such as the state orchestrated child slavery in Uzbekistan. The wonderful thing is that it costs us nothing, and may switch cause consumers to question the garments they buy and so switch them on to cotton garments which guarantee that certain positive social and environmental conditions are met – such as Continental garments. This is often the way with ethical and environmental choices, initially they appear expensive and difficult, until you realise they can be sustainable choices for a longer term and more profitable future. So yes, we are doing this because we can, and also for personal gain. If you follow the same formula, you may benefit in exactly the same way.

Philip Charles – Director.
Philip can be reached at phil@continental-usa.com

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