No product should harm you or the environment. And it doesn’t have to.
Ethics & Aesthetics
In addition to the garment industry being labeled as one of the world’s most unethical and environmentally damaging; cotton, the world’s most highly valued non-food agricultural product is also often categorised as the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop. But it doesn’t have to be.
Helping to prevent the use of toxic pesticides is an issue that effects everyone.
Lots of unregulated fabrics, from T-shirts, to trousers, to bed linen are treated with toxic chemicals during cultivation, as well as before and/or after processing. These chemicals not only leach into the environment, impacting groundwater, wildlife, air and soil, but they can also be absorbed through the skin or inhaled directly. This not only affects the farmers and manufacturers, but also anyone who buys a T-shirt, or bedding, for example, that has been treated with harsh chemicals during the farming or manufacturing process.
Cotton crops cover roughly 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land and use around 16% of the world’s insecticides – the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health – more than any other single major crop on the planet. Unless of course it’s produced to strict organic standards like 8Y8’s apparel.
A single drop of the chemical Aldicarb absorbed through the skin can be enough to kill a person, yet it’s the conventional cotton industries second best selling insecticide. It’s currently being used in around 25 countries, including America, where it has reportedly been found in the groundwater of 16 states.
It’s estimated that 90-95% of the seeds used around the world for food and agriculture are owned by a handful of large chemical companies.
Pesticide residue is often detected on the cottonseed hull, which is a secondary crop frequently sold as a food commodity. Some estimates predict that as much as 65% of cotton production ends up in our food chain. Whether that be directly through cotton seed oil or indirectly thorough the dairy and meat produce of animals.
By empowering cotton farmers and manufacturers, global organisations are helping to combat sweatshops, as well as the use of harmful pesticides, at the source.
Impoverished farm owners are often intentionally cornered by large chemical companies who keep them in a constant cycle of debt. These farmers cannot escape the control of the multinational chemical companies due to their debt, meaning that the farmers have no choice but to use only the seeds and chemicals provided by the chemical companies they are indebted to. They can’t stop using the hazardous chemicals even if they wanted to, for fear of bankruptcy.
This is why 8Y8 is a strong supporter of organisations such as the Fair Wear Foundation, Global Organic Textile Standard and Soil Association, not only ensuring the welfare and fair treatment of farmers and manufacturers, but also of our environment. You can see the labels that relate to these organisations on 8Y8’s products and product pages.
Creating clothes that are better for you, the environment, and the people that make them.
It’s entirely possibly to farm, refine and manufacture fabrics in an environmentally friendly way, using absolutely no toxic pesticides that harm our environment, the farmers, manufacturers, or us, the people wearing them.
There’s no loss in quality either. In fact, with so much care and attention given to the organic production methods, the finished articles are of incredibly high quality.
In line with this ethical, sustainable approach to manufacturing, some of 8Y8’s apparel blanks are also manufactured in facilities using solely renewable, green energy like wind and solar power. This earns them the ‘Climate Neutral’ label, as certified by globally recognised organisations.
One major source of increased N2O emissions comes from Nitrogen synthetic fertilisers, as used in non-organic cotton production. These emissions are 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas compared with CO2. This is decidedly ominous, due to synthetic fertiliser use predicted to potentially increase two and a half times by mid-century.
The majority of greenhouse gases associated with a T-shirt, for example, come from washing and machine drying. Carbon emissions created by washing hot and drying in a machine exceed the emissions generated throughout the growing, farming, manufacturing and transportation processes combined. That’s why, as well as prolonging the life of garment, it’s always recommended to wash cool and hang dry outside whenever possible.