Knickers meet Nature, find out how a knicker can be softer on the skin, and kinder to the planet!
We hear the word sustainable used a lot these days but in truth, with so many of us sharing this planet something can only really be sustainable if it is Regenerative – leaving behind something better than what was there before.
We all wear clothes. Well, I hope we do!
Unfortunately, the fashion industry is one of the third largest polluters due to its large reliance on non-renewable resources. 98 million tonnes of them to be exact. Oil is used to create fabrics like polyester. It is also used to make chemical fertilisers for farming and the chemicals and dyes used in the various processes to make our clothes.
Unfortunately, polyester creates microplastics that we know end up in our oceans and the soup of chemicals pollute our soil, water cycles and impact the health of millions of people.
Did you know the use of chemical fertilisers is a carry-over from the world wars? With chemical warfare no longer needed these chemicals were converted into nitrogen rich fertilisers to fuel the agricultural industry, a period known as the Green Revolution between the 1940s and 1960s. Unfortunately, it has been anything but green.
The intensive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides over the last 50 years has meant that the soil quality and therefore the productivity of our soil all over the world has decreased. In some parts only dust bowls remain.
But healthy soil is crucial to our survival. Not only are we reliant on good soil for growing the food we eat and getting good nutrition from it, you might be interested to know that it is one of the best nature-based solutions we have for mitigating climate change.
This is because our soil is one of the largest sinks for carbon. For it to work efficiently at doing this it must be healthy. Healthy means it is a functioning organism in its own right, rich in organic matter, microorganisms and fungi all working symbiotically with the plants growing in it to exchange minerals and nutrients.
Regenerative agriculture is key to this transformation and works on the premise that without nutrient rich soil we have no life so works to increase soil health year by year.
The 5 Fundamentals to soil health are:
- Less disturbance – It is important to avoid ploughing soil and using harmful chemicals if it is to thrive.
- Soil Defence – Keep the soil covered with living plants or dead plant matter as this reduces soil erosion and lowers soil temperatures.
- Biodiversity – Growing a diversity of plants helps to cultivate nutrient-dense soil, increase soil carbon and reduce the risk of disease and pests.
- Living Roots – Keeping roots in the soil for as long as possible provides a steady source of food for organisms in the soil and increases water infiltration rates.
- No waste – A regenerative farm is an ecosystem and all nutrients are recycled and the element of waste is eliminated. Compost and animals fertilise the land.
In 2019 we became involved in a project in Erode, India for a radically transparent farm 2 fibre supply chain that supports biodiversity.
Our initial project was to grow an acre of organic cotton using ancient farming techniques. By returning to ancient wisdom these techniques were both sustainable and regenerative.
Through the use of cover crops, animal grazing and zero pesticide use soil quality has returned.
Socially it has provided a strong and viable livelihood for the community on the ground and continues to pass on ancient traditions and wisdom to the next generation.
So, there you have it. It needn’t be all doom and gloom. There is so much opportunity for our industries to change and work with nature rather than against it and for each and every one of us to insist on this change through our buying habits.
Follow our journey at www.bedstrawandmadder.com and learn about the people behind the pants.
Launching regenerative underwear this August.
Made by People. Powered by Plants.