Last year I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life, and we took our honeymoon to somewhere I have always wanted to go. We took a trip to the state of Kerala in India. I absolutely adore Indian food and that was one of the best parts! That is aside from the time alone with my hubby and no toddler to look after/crawl into our bed at night. We slept till whenever we pleased, sunbathed, did yoga on a roof top overlooking the beach, and I read an entire book cover to cover! Something I haven’t done since before my son was born three years ago.
My husband and I on our Honeymoon in Kerala, India.
I also read the Times of India and one issue kept reappearing that I had never been aware of before. On a regular basis in India there are fatal explosions of tanker trucks carrying chemical pesticides used for growing cotton! I have always been a supporter of buying organic products when I can afford to and would easily choose organic over the competition because I know that it’s better for my own health as well as the planet's. But this was a new issue I had not been aware of before. Because of our consumption of simple cotton there are literally people being blown to bits on a regular basis. Add to this the environmental consequences and the known health complications in workers and children that live on or near a cotton farm that uses pesticides and this was enough to convince me! I vowed to never use cotton that was not organic in my designs again.
Organic Cotton Farm Farmers Children sitting in the Field Organic Cotton Farmer
Loading pesticides Spraying cotton crops with pesticide Explosion at a pesticide plant
I still want to uphold the design aesthetics and sensory elements that inspired me to create Too Many Pjs in the first place. I also do my best to incorporate interior trends that will look good in the modern home. But using organic cotton and sustainable materials is at the heart of my designs. I also use other sustainable fabrics such as linen and am planning to use vegetable tanned leather as I feel this is an important sensory fabric which is also sustainable when the hides used are a byproduct of the meat industry. I did not immediately cease using the fabrics I had previously worked with because throwing them away would have been a massive waste of resources. Instead I have slowly eliminated the stock I had left and will only buy in organic from now on. And funnily enough most of the fabrics I now use are grown by Fairtrade farmers and woven in GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified factories in Kerala, India! This has brought about an increase in prices over the past year, but I feel it’s one that is worth it. We are talking about human welfare as well as environmental. I may not be a large company yet but as I grow I intend to stick to my philosophies and continue using only organic and sustainable products. I hope that you will stick with me too!