Sustainably and ethically made - we know where our products from, right from farm to finished product

AUSTRALIAN WOOL

australian-woolOur 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. 

ORGANIC FAIRTRADE COTTON

fairtrade cotton farming

Let's take a walk through every single step, right back to the farm where the cotton for each product comes from. We use only 100% certified Fairtrade and GOTS organic cotton throughout all production, from farm to finished product. 

fairtrade-cotton-farming

FAIRTRADE, ORGANIC COTTON FARMING

At Chetna Co-operative based in Telangana, India our long-staple cotton is organically and sustainably grown and hand-picked at small-scale, farmer-owned Fairtrade farms. Premium cotton prices pay toward community projects, like education or safe crop warehousing, food security programs and teaching sustainable farming, without use of harmful chemicals, to workers in marginalised areas. 

fairtrade cotton organic cotton ginning

FAIRTRADE, ORGANIC COTTON GINNING

The organic cotton is graded and carefully packed and labelled in a unique system to ensure traceability of cotton, right back to the farm. It is taken to the organic ginning facilities, at the Pratima Agro, Organic Grower's Group where the natural cotton fibre is separated from the cotton seed. Cotton seed is then used for fuel or feed. 

organic cotton spinning

ORGANIC COTTON SPINNING & DYEING

This is an incredibly important step to ensure the highest quality cotton is spun as a smooth, soft, uniform thread. The quality of this yarn is the basis on which we craft the end product. Sadly spinning mills are a part of the textiles production we often forget about and where too many human rights issues - like trafficking of women - occurs. It is also a part of the process that almost exclusively happens overseas for Australian cotton as spinning technology for finer fabrics is no longer available locally (based on information provided by Ethical Clothing Australia). 

The spinning mills at Winsome are run using hydro-electricity and are one of the lowest consumers of water in the dyeing industry. All cotton is dyed using low-tox, entirely GOTS certified organic dyes. This means no carcinogenic amines, AZO dyes, formaldehyde or ammonia bleach among other requirements of strict GOTS certification.

Our mills will not hire workers below the age of 18 and focus not just on child labour, but also ensuring that shift work times are strictly adhered to enable women, in particular, the freedom to look after children or family. They provide safe transport home and ensure they uphold the standards of the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO). Above all, they pay living wages to all staff, safe working conditions and access to Unions for all workers. 

fairtrade cotton organic cotton knitting

ORGANIC, KNITTING AND WEAVING IN FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED FACTORIES 

Once spun, cotton is woven on looms or circular knitting machines and woven or knitted into beautiful fabric at the Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in Kolkata. Like every other step, employee happiness and welfare is central to how the business is run, ensuring safe, light working spaces, one hour lunch breaks, living wages for all workers (which can be many multiples of the official "minimum wage"), safe work conditions, family health insurance, healthy food, safe transport home, scholarships for workers' children and shares in the overall business to give workers' access to the end success of the business. The pay back from this last year was equivalent to around one months' additional wages. 

fairtrade cotton GOTS organic dyeing

ORGANIC, NON-TOXIC PRINTING

All cotton is printed with only non-toxic, organic processes, and hand printed. Absolutely no softening, finishing or anti-pilling chemicals are used. 

We spoke to people at RCM mills asking about how secure they felt in their jobs, who else in their family, if anyone, needed to work, and how long they had worked there. One person summed it up, saying, "I just know that this business takes care of me. Not just me, but my whole family."

organic cotton bed production

CUTTING AND SEWING IN FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED FACTORIES

All cutting and sewing is completed to a phenomenally high standard. It is one of the first things you can notice about the sheets, how beautiful the stitching and generous the sizing and seams.

At every stage, workers are paid living wages, health insurance, paid leave, offered scholarships for their children and safe transport home from work, as well as shares in the overall business. 

We had to have people from our team ourselves to see the vibe first hand at the Fair Trade certified factories. Light, bright, low-stress... our team has even been treated with the worker's lunch!

organic cotton bedding production

HAND FINISHING

All products are finally hand finished and packaged in waste off-cuts, ready to go. Products are not-prewashed as no chemicals need to be removed and to save water. 

organic bedding production

ZERO-WASTE, LOW-EMISSION PACKING AND SHIPPING

Finally, our sheets are packed into bags made from waste-off cuts, tied with cotton twine and shipped to our warehouse in Sydney, Australia. All additional material used in shipping is recycled. Products are then individually hand wrapped in our 100% recyclable and recycled or sustainably sourced packaging, and sent, via our neutral emission shipping partners, straight from our place to yours!

 

organic bedding journey
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 fairtrade cotton fairtrade international logo elkie arkGOTS organic cotton global organic textile standard certified organic cotton logo elkie ark 

ALL PRODUCTS ARE 100% CERTIFIED FAIRTRADE COTTON AND GOTS ORGANIC COTTON. ALL PRODUCTS ARE PACKAGED in 100% RECYCLABLE PACKAGING AND WHEREVER POSSIBLE WE USE RECYCLED AND FSC SOURCED PACKAGING SUPPLIES (WE ARE WORKING ON MAKING THIS 100% OF OUR PACKAGING. WATCH THIS SPACE!)

Photos credits: Big thanks to Paul Matthew (cotton), Dider Gentilhomme, for Fairtrade International (farm workers). All other photos taken by Daniel Melenhorst and Leigh Munday for Elkie & Ark