Happy new year, I know it's the end of Feb but I've had a bit of a break. I normally scale back in January anyway as Christmas can get a bit hectic. But this year I think a mix of that, a pandemic, having a baby, doing some online studying and setting up a new business got me feeling a bit worn out. January is bad enough as it is anyway without the pubs being shut too - I don't do dry January :).
The new business I have set up had me doing quite a lot of reading around the subject of carbon emissions, being greener and how we can all (business owners especially) make choices that helps climate positive change.
Then I felt a bit shitty that some of my products I sell via Squiffy aren't helping the planet. The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter behind the oil industry, and over 12 million items of clothing go into landfill each YEAR! (I got that last stat from Mary Portas' podcast The Kindness Economy. I love that lady).
So I've been thinking: it's not just about taking the plastic out of the packaging, the whole ethos of Squiffy has to be geared around being a progressive and forward thinking business. I don't want to be cheap, fast fashion. I want to be slow and worth it, beautiful AND organic AND recycled AND personalised wearables *phew, mops sweat from brow*.
I don't just want to sell things for the sake of selling them. There's nothing wrong with making money, but at the planets expense there is.
Over the last 8 years running Squiffy print I've had to adapt and change products. If I was still glitter vinyl-ing make-up bags with peoples names I literally wouldn't have a business today. I would have been priced out of the market by people doing them quicker and cheaper. I used to get annoyed at people copying my products, but I couldn't do anything about it. Once an idea is out in the world it really is anyones to interpret, so I let it drive me to think of new things to do and design. If someone is constantly copying what you are doing they obviously aren't thinking for themselves and are farrrr to busy watching the competition.
So this is what I am doing at the mo:
I currently, and have for a while, sold 100% organic t-shirts. These are made by a company that rank as one of the leaders of sustainable materials sourcing. They are committed to driving positive change in the fashion industry & their values align with mine. But what does organic mean?.....
- The avoidance of pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers. This leads to cleaner and healthier soil, water, flora and fauna.
- The health of cotton farmers and their communities is respected and protected.
- The promotion of crop rotation and biodiversity.
- A reduction in water consumption. Organic cotton cultivation requires 91% less water than conventional cotton. If you haven't watched the Stacey Dooley investigation into the cotton trade, then do.
So all my t-shirt's are unisex in size and 100% buttery soft organic cotton. Good for your conscience and the planet.
The hoodies however will have to be taken off the website until I can find a reliable supplier to well, er, supply them! They have to be at the right price, feel and wear and wash amazing and also be organic or some form of recycled.
Whilst the search for those continues, the t-shirt's are ready to purchase after my extended Christmas break, it's going to be a longer lead time however, as good things come to those who wait, and the packaging just got a whole new face lift too - more of that in the next blog though!
(Head over to shop the organic t-shirts HERE)