Our wool comes from the rolling green farms, on the north tip of Tasmania. It travels across the straits to Victoria where it is prepared. It is proudly part of the 5% of Australian wool that doesn't head overseas and offshore. It is combed and cleaned, with no abrasive or toxic chemicals, before heading back to Launceston, to a beautiful old mill where it is spun and knitted, and finished into the stunning blankets you get to snuggle into and enjoy. The labels are from Victoria too. It's so fine, no toxic chemicals touch this wool along its journey - certainly no bleaches or cleaning chemicals or harsh dyes. So from start to finish, you know you are supporting the Australian environment, Australian farmers and workers, across a host of little rural communities.
Australian grown, spun, knitted and made. From farm, to finish.
(PS. Yes, we have been to the farms and the mills! But unfortunately our camera died on us, so we don't have the photos we took! We will update you with photos when we next head back over!)
Your incredibly fine, long-staple cotton begins its life on the Fairtrade, organic farms of Chetna, along the central belt of India. India is the land where cotton originally came from, where, if farmed well, it can be fed by monsoons and can be grown in traditional, organic ways. It is also the country famous for the incredible quality of cotton.
We don't know if it is just because the workplaces are happier, or the whole process is free from abrasive toxic chemicals... but we do know the end product is phenomenally softer, and more durable, to last a longer life.
Unfortunately, this isn't how almost all the world's cotton is made. Most cotton is laden with pesticides and dyes and genetic modifications, and chemicals that harm the rivers and farms and communities around. Not to mention the breaches to human rights (yep, we'll say the words: blatant child labour, modern day slavery and trafficking) that continue to go on.
Instead, we've done it differently.
For starters, we pay living wages, at every step of production. All cotton comes from Fairtrade farms, where the women and workers get the benefits of not just fair pay, but education, sustainable farming, warehouses to keep their stock and their homes safe.
Not just the people are better off - but the environment is too.
By buying certified GOTS organic (the gold standard), you are reducing irrigated water use by up to 90%, and ensuring no bleaches and non-organic, toxic chemicals touch your products, the environment or communities, at any stage.
On top of this, every purchase has funded educational scholarships for school children, literary programs for women and communities and provided living wages for workers. It has empowered women, men, children - in fact whole communities - to get out of poverty for good.
Every purchase pays for health insurance, paid leave, staff lunches, safe transport home for workers. It pays many multiples more back to the people who crafted and worked incredibly hard to make your sheets.
It supports education of farmers to practice more sustainable farming methods and supported organic cotton farming.
We use renewable energy to power our factories, recycle water and re-use off-cuts in order to minimise waste.
We'd like to think of this as starting a revolution from your bed. But that all sounds really exhausting... so we're just putting it down to plain, old human kindness instead.
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Notes: (1) Life cycle assessment of organic cotton, Textile Exchange, November 2014.