We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that… The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us. – David Attenborough.
From David Attenborough to world leaders, we are hearing that the next decade will determine our ability to sustain life on Earth. Creating a quality product is not enough. Quality is no longer a product of function or form. It needs to reach beyond enhancing the life of its user; to improve the condition of our planet.
Let’s Start with Cotton
Conventionally grown cotton is one of the least sustainable crops on earth. A water-thirsty crop, GMO cotton makes use of pesticides and insecticides in its production, which contaminate the soil, the air we breathe and the water we drink.
In contrast, the production of organic cotton requires no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Relying on the wisdom of traditional farming, the health of both the farmers and soil is preserved for future generations. Using up to 90% less water, and relying on more circular and regenerative systems, organic cotton presents a future for more sustainable textile production.
Alarmingly, only 1% of global cotton production is organic. But as manufacturers and consumers we recognise our responsibility to shift the demand.
In 2018 we embarked on a journey to find a supplier of organic cotton. This took us to Turkey where we met Egedeniz – the first Turkish cotton farmers to achieve GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification. We made a video about it which you can watch here.
In 2019 we launched our first 100% organic towel, The Aegean, and made the company-wide commitment to convert our entire cotton product range to organic over the next couple of years. In making this decision, we hope to prove to South African farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and the general public that there is a demand for textiles made with organic cotton.
In 2020, amidst a global pandemic, we became the first GOTS-certifed weaving mill in South Africa. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world-leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. It defines the highest level of environmental and social criteria, from harvesting, to socially responsible manufacturing, providing a credible assurance along the entire supply chain.
Over a three-day period, each division of the Mungo Mill in Plettenberg Bay was carefully scrutinised by Control Union – an independent certification body. We were monitored from waste disposal to yarn lots, energy consumption, labour practices and health and safety. Compliance was met across the board, from our design and production, right through to our weaving, CMT, finishing, laundry, wholesale and retail departments.
Where It All Began
We feel that it’s our responsibility to always be looking to change how we manufacture and what our impact is. Going organic is part of recognising our responsibility toward people and the planet.
– Dax Holding
In 2020 we launched South Africa’s first 100% GOTS-certified organic towel – The Aegean. An ultra soft crisp white towel with a diamond and honeycomb weave. Designed, woven and made by us, at the Mungo Mill in Plettenberg Bay.
In a matter of months, it flew off our shelves – proving to us that there was a demand for organic textiles.
So we ordered more yarn and woven a second batch…
Looking to the Future
Following the Aegean, we’ve added a number of organic cotton textiles to our range.
From our colourful Scout Towels sized for big and small humans, and luxurious Belgian Waffle Bath Sheets, to our cosy Baby Blankets, Hooded Baby Towels, and soft Summer Towels woven on our antique Lancashire looms.
All woven with 100% GOTS-certified organic yarn.