Arthur & Henry                                                         Organic Cotton. Fair Trade Cotton. Ethical. Beautiful.

Neil Young calls for Organic Cotton

Turns out that Neil Young, yes *that* Neil Young is a big fan of organic cotton.

In his last tour he gave the audience free organic t-shirts.  With a catch:

"I'm hoping that when you wear your PROTECT / EARTH t-shirt, you will vow to PROTECT EARTH & to take a stand for EARTH in the ways that you can.
Today, I have taken the steps to remove sales of non-organic t-shirts and other products that damage the Earth from my concerts and my web stores.
I vow to speak up & to do what I can to PROTECT EARTH." 

He went on to talk about the issues with non-organic cotton including: high pesticide use, high use of chemicals in processing, high water consumption "2,700 liters of water is used to grow the cotton for just 1 t-shirt!!! (& that doesn't even account for the processing dying etc....)"

We applaud you Neil.  Here's to the day when Everybody's Rockin' organic cotton... [Groan. Sorry.]

Wear an organic cotton shirt and feel like a rock star.

 

Pink shirts as location devices

There are two traits that separate an Englishman*'s shirt wardrobe from his American cousins. Firstly none of his shirts will have any pockets (unless they have short sleeves). Secondly there will be at least one pink shirt.

There are honourable exceptions of course but should you ever be abducted by aliens and then repatriated sometime later to earth and you want to know which continent you are on this is a helpful, practical even, piece of knowledge to hold onto.

 

Pink shirts at special prices this week at Arthur & Henry.

 

*We *think* it's just an English thing.  But if any Scots or Welshmen out there would beg to differ we'll concede it may be a British thing.

Fashion Revolution Day - Part 3: Thoughts from India

'We are faceless. We are just numbers in the big brands’ audit reports and company presentations.

Nobody likes to know who we are and what we are doing.

Why are you talking to us in the production floor instead of meeting our owners in a 5 star hotel?’

Krishna, our chief tailor was suspicious and surprised when we first met him and talked about Arthur & Henry and the importance of their contribution in making a long lasting, beautifully and ethically made shirts. 

 

It’s almost two years now and every single time that we walk into the shop floor, our hearts are filled with immense pride and joy when we see the way our tailors value our relationship and the love and care they put in when making Arthur & Henry shirts.

Being a small start-up brand, we are under no illusion of the magnitude of the change that we are making in the livelihoods of our tailors and cotton farmers but we are proud that we have taken some positive steps in the right direction rather than bashing the big retailers or blaming the factory owners or everybody else except us (that’s being intellectually lazy as our co-founder Mark wrote!).

It’s been a year that more than 1100 people lost their lives in Rana Plaza in Bangladesh whilst trying to cater to the never ending desire for cheap clothes and it is high time that we take serious look at the impact of our consumption. It’s time to make consumption a political decision, whether it is food or cloths.

And it’s time for us to thank our incredible tailoring partners! Thank you for being part of our team and for making us guilt free shirts. Together we can create a sustainable future for our next generation, one thread at a time!

 

Sreeranga Rajan is co-founder of Arthur & Henry and is based in Bangalore, India.

 

Written by Sreeranga Rajan — April 24, 2014

Fashion Revolution Day - Part 2

Who Made Your Clothes?

Fashion Revolution Day is coming.

A year after the building collapse in Bangladesh, people and organisations are coming together from over 60 countries to say never again should people die for fashion.  

We'll be turning our clothes #insideout, looking at the labels, asking the brands* 'who made your clothes?'

Will you join us?  Find out more at Fashion Revolution Day.

*Yes, we wear our own shirts.  But common decency as well as the somewhat chilly British weather requires that we also wear other clothes too.

Fashion Revolution Day - Part 1

 

 

It's been a year since the Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka Bangladesh.  1,134people died (Guardian) when a clothing factory collapsed.  The blame for this collapse lies with the relentless drive for cheap clothing and rapid fulfilment times demanded by "fast fashion" and our desire for it.

It is simplistic to look for the protagonists to blame this human tragedy on.  Cartoon parodies of an evil factory owner whipping his staff like a pantomime villain, or greedy corporate executive - the 1% - looking no further than his stock options and the opportunity to buy a larger super-yacht to peacock around Sardinia in.  Simplistic and wrong.

The problem with evil of course, as any A-Level philosopher will tell you, is not that there are good people and bad people, but that there is good and bad in all of us.  It really is only in pantomimes that we can find the evil villain to be caught.

Sadly Rana Plaza is no pantomime.  To prevent Rana Plaza then is not a case of stopping a few evil people, but for all of us to act better, and there's the rub.  "Acting better" is *hard*:

Firstly it's complex.  How should you shop for clothes to do the decent thing?  How much should a a garment cost to provide a fair wage to all involved?  Even if you pay more, how do you know the money is going where you want it to?  The answer to these questions will probably surprise you!

Secondly it involves sacrifice.  Probably.  To pay a little more for a garment means a little less money to spend on something else.

Thirdly it involves action.  Figuring it all out and doing nothing is just bar-room philosophy.

It all adds up to an unpopular message for many, but for those seeking an answer to that most ancient of questions "how to live a good life?" then hopefully it's a message that you will embrace and I encourage you to do so.  After all life's not a dress rehearsal.

 

Arthur & Henry are on the Advisory Committee for Fashion Revolution Day.  Will be blogging more about it in the coming weeks.

Written by Mark Lissaman — April 04, 2014

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