Scubatogs organic cotton clothing for divers and surfers is designed to help reduce the damage caused by convention cotton farming.
Conventional cotton farming is one of agriculture's most environmentally destructive activities. It takes an enormous toll on the earth's air, water, and soil, and significantly affects the health of people living in cotton growing areas. A typical conventional cotton t-shirt uses about 150 grams of acutely toxic pesticides and insecticides; that's the size of a cup of sugar. (Source: Soil Association). Our organic clothing products use none.
Organic farming methods benefit farmers and their communities by:
• Preventing and reducing farmer debt.
• Improving food stability for farmers as a result of crop rotation.
• Preventing pollution of the water table.
• Preventing potential fatal pesticide poisoning of farmers and their families.
• Improving and maintaining biodiversity.
To achieve organic certification, only azo-free dyes are used in the dying process and all effluent is properly treated. In addition, the traceability of organic cotton right back down the supply chain means that it is the only cotton that you can be certain is GM free. We believe in choice and as organic cotton is more expensive than traditional cotton and not all our suppliers use it in their manufacturing process we offer both organic and non organic cotton products.
Back to the source
How does your purchase of organic cotton clothing make a difference? One of our suppliers asked the farmers from the village in Gujarat in India who produce organic cotton to tell us in their own words how changing to organic has impacted them and their village community.
My land was dead; now it is alive - that is the most important thing - my land is linked directly to my life; my land is alive and so we are alive.
The land is better because the beneficial insects have returned. Earthworms have returned naturally and we no longer need to supply them to aerate the soil. The soil holds more water now. This means that there is less risk to our crop since we are not as dependent on the rains. Also, our costs are reduced since we have to irrigate less and so we need less fuel for the pumps. We rotate our crops more now and this has helped reduce the number of harmful pests. Rotation also means that we have more diverse sources of income from organic foods. With organic farming some of our crops are even better - like our sesame seed crops which have the same yield as before but the oil content of the seeds is higher.
The health of our village has also improved. This year, in our village, 98 of 130 farmers are farming organically. The village bore holes now provide cleaner water and there are not so many illnesses. In the past, farmers became ill with skin-irritations and breathing problems from spraying the pesticides, and we had to spend a lot of money on medical treatment. Some farmers and workers even expired. Those of us who have converted to organic no longer have these problems.
There has been a real impact on our costs. We used to burn the crop waste but now we create compost with manure and the crop plants so that we don't have to buy fertilisers. We no longer spend money on pesticides.
The better soil quality means that we have fewer inputs. In total our costs are down by about 60%-70%. The amount we used to spend on 10 acres now covers more than 20.
During the three years that it takes to convert to organic our yields do go down by 10%-15% because our land has been damaged by the chemicals. However, the lower costs mean that our net profits go up even in the first year of transition. After the transition we have been getting the same yields as before. The increase in profits means that we can spend more on our village and our families.
We are very happy about converting to organic. Two years ago, 47 out of the 130 farmers in this village had converted. Last year it was 65 and now it's 98. I promise you that in two years time this village will be 100% organic.