As a business we make t-shirts. Gorgeous organic cotton tee’s, that one would wear to a BBQ, a day out with friends or to the pub. Probably not to the Opera. If you have bought one of our organic cotton t’shirts, hopefully you will know how soft they feel and how the bright colours last over time. Planet Boab does this ethically, and if we can’t do it ethically then we won’t do it. Being fair, sustainable, ethical in creating our products is the purpose of our business.
We source raw certified organic cotton and certified organic cotton yarns from India & Turkey. All our fabrics are made in Australia. Certified organic cotton is farmed without the use of pesticides, genetically modified seed or synthetic fertilisers. Good for the environment - tick
Planet Boab’s suppliers all conform to Fairtrade practises, giving farmers a decent price for their cotton. This is not some abstract certification scheme, or marketing greenwash, it genuinely improves the lives of cotton famers in India and Turkey. Good for people - tick.
Did you know that organic cotton fibres are more durable than those of conventional cotton? When we buy clothes that are made to last, we are saying no to ‘fast fashion’. We are letting manufacturers know that we expect our clothes to last more than just a few years. T-shirts that are made overseas and don’t cost as much, are generally poor quality which means that we will discard them too soon, adding more to our landfills. Good for the future - tick.
So you see, putting on our t-shirts is acknowledging a family struggling in India matters and you have contributed to their improvement, cared about those polar bears we see on tiny ice floes and are helping to end injustice and exploitation of workers. Principles don’t need to be lofty, to be real and practical. A simple as an act of choosing what clothing to wear, and what not, is something we can all do. It is why we provide T-shirts that are ethically made.
Vihaan comes from an impoverished rural village in India. His parents, desperate to feed the rest of the family and believing that he would receive an education, better food and housing sent him to work for a cotton farm. Vihaan was sold for $320.
In reality, Vihaan works up to 12 hours a day under the hot Indian sun picking cotton. Exhaustion, heat stroke and malnutrition are all common. Vihaan is forced to work in unbearable conditions and lives in filthy, unheated, uninsulated field barracks, normally used to store crops or farm machinery. Physical and sexual abuse of child cotton labourers is widely reported.
Vihaan risks developing lung disease from inhaling cotton dust that has been sprayed with carcinogenic pesticides. The spraying of cotton crops with toxic pesticides is incredibly common in most cotton producing countries. Child labourers may spray toxic pesticides or work in cotton fields during and after spraying has occurred.
Vihaan is exposed to dangerous nerve agents, designed to impede the nervous system in pests. In time she may experience tremors, nausea, weakness, and in serious cases paralysis and death.
Causes & Consequences
Poverty is often cited as the main cause of child labour. It is widely believed that families will not be able to cope if their children do not work. In practice, however, the poverty argument does not hold. Precisely the opposite is true: child labour maintains poverty.
Experience shows that deep-rooted social norms, the violation of workers’ rights, discrimination against certain groups, and a poorly-functioning education system are the main reasons why children aren’t attending school.
Because children are easy to exploit and are cheap labourers, they are hired in preference to adults. Child labour thus leads to lower wages and higher unemployment among adults. Children who work and do not go to school will end up in low paid jobs later, and so will their children – and so the vicious cycle of poverty is perpetuated.
You can put an end to chid labour.
Real change requires that we the consumers, are aware that what we buy has real implications in the lives of these children. Buying only clothes that are certified as fair trade makes it more difficult for companies and farmers to use children for profits. You can help make this a child labour free world, buy ethically.
Organic cotton feels better on your skin.
The first thing that people often notice when they touch clothes made from organic cotton is how soft it feels. You will find that organic cotton over time becomes even more soft, almost velvet, as no pesticides or hazardous chemicals have been used. Conventional cotton growers use harvesting machines to harvest the cotton. With these machines, the seeds and oil in the seeds are mixed with the cotton. Harsh chemical cleansers are then used to clean the cotton and remove the oil and seeds. Organic cotton growers hand pick the cotton so it is much cleaner. Hand picking also means that the cotton fibres used in organic clothes are stronger and more durable as they have not been weekend by the chemical cleansers and dyes. All this goes to producing a far superior quality fibre that results in a softer feeling against your skin.
Organic cotton saves lives
Choosing organic cotton means that farmers are not being exposed to the harmful chemicals that claim 20,000 lives each year. Many times, failed crops in conventional cotton production results in farmers falling into extreme debts, since the input costs are so high. In the past few years, numerous farmers in India have resorted to suicide when the problem became too serious. The input costs for organic cotton production reduce over time, enabling farmers to remain debt-free even after a crop failure.
Organic cotton is better for our planet
Organic Cotton farming protects water quality by not using pesticides and fertilisers that are linked to groundwater contamination. It also encourages biodiversity by controlling pests with friendly insects rather than multiple applications of toxic chemicals. Organic cotton production uses 94% less greenhouse gas emissions to that of conventional cotton crops. Conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world.
Conventional cotton can harm farmers, destroy our waterways and endanger our health. When you go to buy your clothes, please consider the material used; it’s important for you, and it’s important for our planet.
The Story of a Spoon charts the story of a plastic spoon, from the Big Bang to the Bin Bag, and aims to raise awareness of the effects of over-consumption in our society. This video is an appeal for people to take a moment to think about how the stuff we buy came into existence, and what happens to that stuff when we no longer have use for it.
A Plastic Ocean is an adventure documentary shot on more than 20 locations over the past 4 years. Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.
With a large cross tattoo on his head and several other tattoos visible all over his body, Bill Davis might come off as a bit “hard” to a lot of people. But Bill perfectly shows the world the exact reason why you should never judge someone by how they look.
That’s because Bill has one of the most giving and loving hearts you could ever hope to meet in your entire life. He and his wife were heartbroken when their son, Chris, was diagnosed with severe autism and several other ailments years ago. Doctors had little hope for the boy, and tried to direct the young couple to give their “sick” son up to an institution to be looked after.
But the doctors didn’t seem to understand that Bill has something inside his soul called “unconditional love.” While dealing with Chris’ autism certainly presented a huge challenge, he and his wife decided they would give him love instead. They studied and learned as much information as possible about the best ways to treat Chris. And over the years, they’ve raised a boy whom anyone would be proud to have as their own!
Chris was certainly a handful and sometimes still has his difficult moments, but thanks to Bill and his amazing wife, they’ve taught their son to become an amazing member of society. And at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can hope to bring into the world. At the 2:10 mark of this video, Bill shows everyone that love is the answer to just about everything.
This video was shot as part of Andrew Solomon’s book Far from the Tree, a book filled with several stories about extraordinary families like the Davis clan. And a very very special thanks to Nick Davis Productions for providing this amazing, and incredibly shot, video.
by Paul Morris
Design for disassembly - this is all about knowing a product is put together so that it can be easily and cost effectively taken apart at the end of its life to recapture materials for recycling. For example gluing two different materials together might make it hard for them to be taken apart and recycled at the end of life.
Design for longevity – products that last longer can help to avoid, reduce environmental problems, especially those associated with waste at the end of life. Longevity is about products that are more durable and will retain their value so people can re-sell them at the end of life.
Design for recyclability – What happens to a product at the end of life is assisted by the choices made at the start. What materials have been selected, can they be recycled in the country that the product will be used in? Have they combined materials with fastenings that will make it hard for them to be pulled apart and recycled?
Design for upgradability - being able to upgrade a product as people’s needs or technology changes is an important part of increasing the sustainability of a product – the longer it lasts the better as materials are valued for longer and it reduces the need for someone to buy something new.