If you are conscious of ethically produced clothing, or uniforms that are kind to your child’s skin – then you’ll love these organic school uniforms.
Two mums from London are leading a revolution in the school uniform world.
When Irina Price’s son started school a few years ago, he quickly developed skin rashes and it soon became clear that this was in reaction to the synthetic uniform he was wearing for 6 1/2 hours a day. It was affecting his learning and causing him discomfort. Irina searched around for a more natural alternative and drew a blank. Joining forces with her playground mum friend Marina Petrova they decided that they’d look for a solution to the problem themselves, and so EcoOutfitters (www.EcoOutfitters.co.uk ) was born.
They threw themselves into researching the most naturally sourced materials and started on a steep learning curve about the chemical processes which fabrics go through from beginning to end product. With her background in anthropology and development, Irina was well placed to research the environmental impact of synthetic materials.
And at school, children learn a lot at about environmental changes so the pair felt strongly that the man-made and chemically-treated uniforms available were undermining what schools were teaching about sustainability. They wanted to challenge the very fabric of kids’ education.
From their launch in December 2012, their business, like their products, has grown organically and they now sell a range of skirts; trousers; pinafores; cardigans; T-shirts; tights and socks worldwide. They have many loyal customers who return year after year, and are delighted with the feedback they receive, particularly from parents whose children have suffered eczema or other skin conditions.
They are proud of the traceability of their product from seed to garment. Their products are certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards – a group who assess high-level environmental and social criteria along the entire supply chain). They are also part of Cottoned On, and organization supported by The Soil Association encouraging more designers to use organic materials.
Cotton is generally considered to be a very natural fabric, but in reality it’s one of the most intensively farmed crops and uses approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and over 10% of the world’s pesticides. Conventional cotton farmers run great health risks due to the amount of chemicals they handle – it takes around one-third of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides to grow enough cotton for just a single T-shirt. Added to that, other chemicals used in the production process such as chlorine, Teflon, formaldehyde and toxic dyes and you can begin to see why organic cotton is a more natural choice for children’s clothing – particularly clothing that they spend so much time in.
All EcoOutfitters products are made using organic cotton, from non-GM seed and are free from the harmful chemical processes which can damage the local community, the water supplies and have an impact on the end-user. The strict social criteria means that everyone from the farmer to the factory worker receives a fair wage.
Certified by GOTS
With recent press coverage of working conditions and safety standards in overseas sweat-shops, consumers are increasingly demanding ethically sourced products. EcoOutfitters work with a manufacturer in Turkey who are certified by GOTS, and indeed visit the factory themselves to ensure that they provide a fair and safe working environment.
The end result is something EcoOutfitters are proud of – a high-quality, ethical, cool, comfortable and breathable item of uniform.
With prices starting at £14.95 for trousers and £8.95 for a polo shirt, they are determined to show that great quality, ethical and organic school clothing needn’t cost the earth.
They offer a flat-rate delivery cost of £8.99 to EU countries, regardless of order size and ship worldwide.
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