Changing the way clothing is made Seed to Shirt: Organic, GMOfree, FairTrade fashion.
About this project
The Revolution Begins with You!
Aloha and mahalo for watching my kickstarter video! I bet you were just as shocked to hear all that information as I was the first time I came across it. Cancer-causing chemicals, agro-corporate domination, global seed control, widespread farmer suicides, toxic runoff, social, environmental and economic exploitation & profit before people and planet. Enough is ENOUGH?! Are you ready to change the way clothing is made, seed to shirt!?
Five years ago, I set out to create undies for yogi’s. It was a silly, whimsical idea, but I felt called to create and set out on a mission to find the absolute best fabric to create my wares from. It wasn’t long before I discovered these devastating facts about our textile industry, and specifically, cotton.
Over 90% of cotton grown worldwide is genetically modified. There is a popular strain of genetically modified cotton called Bt Cotton. The Bt stands for the bacteria, Bacillus Thuringiensis. This bacteria has been spliced into every cell of the Bt cotton plant, meaning you can’t wash or clean it off. Bacillus Thuringiensis is a bacteria that produces over 200 different toxins, each harmful to different insects. Bt cotton was created to “decrease” the need for chemical insecticides and pesticides. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened and with the rise of Bt cotton, came the need for more toxic inputs, resulting in lower yields (harvestable cotton) and higher costs for farmers. Bt cotton was also created to withstand Monsanto’s number one selling product, Roundup Ready, which is a known carcinogenic (cancer-causing substance) herbicide wreaking havoc on people, animals, plants and the earth than any other chemical on the market.
Extensive research shows cotton has turned into one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world (and is second to oil as the dirtiest crop in the world). An endless ingredient list of toxic chemical insecticides and pesticides are entering our fragile ecosystem at unprecedented rates causing irreversible damage in its wake. Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and triflualin) are KNOWN cancer-causing chemicals and all nine are classified by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as Category I and II – the most dangerous chemicals. The kicker is, we actually ingest MORE cotton than we wear. Sixty five percent of conventional cotton production ends up not as our clothing, but in our food chain via cottonseed oil which is used as a filler in many processed foods, and cottonseed meal which is used as a “high protein feed” for beef and dairy cattle.
Today, twenty-five percent of all the pesticides sprayed in the U.S are going on cotton, even though it only covers ¼ of all farmed land. In developing countries, where regulations are less stringent, and where America seems to send a majority of their manufacturing, the amount of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides and their toxicity level is often far greater than in the U.S.
What broke my heart was learning over the past decade, India has experienced mass suicidewith rural cotton farmers. Over 300,000 Indian farmer suicides have been linked to Bt cotton adoption in rain-fed areas. What was once referred to as the Cotton Belt, is now known as the Suicide Belt. Many farmers fall into a cycle of debt from the purchase of expensive, commercialized GM (genetically modified) seeds and chemical inputs (insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers) that fail to yield enough to sustain farmers’ livelihoods, leaving them in a dead end of lifetime debt and slavery. Many farmers will take out life insurance, try to salvage anything they can for their families, and without any other viable options, take their own lives.
Before I produced HRC’s first order, I went to India and started what has become a annual tradition of meeting the farmers who grow our Organic Cotton. Spending time in these villages, with the wives and children, has completely altered the way I view and feel about the clothing industry, actually, all industries. We live in a fast reality where everything and anything we want or need is available right at our fingers tips, yet we’ve forgetting about the people behind the “stuff”. Human Revolution Clothing is my personal mission to bridge the gap between humanity and the material world.
All of those pieces are the reason I started Human Revolution Clothing (HRC). I realized, through choosing organic, fair trade cotton, we can actually change the world for the better! After years of research, emails and traveling across the world, I feel so grateful to be connected with some incredible people, organizations and factories that make it possible to buy and manufacture organic cotton.
Human Revolution Clothing was built upon on a foundation of four principles and a dream to create something that would bring people together in harmony for the greater good.
This foundation acts as my north star for navigating the 50 shades of toxic grey within the textile industry and has allowed me to source the highest quality organic fabric available. Every year I visit the farmers and their communities. I visit our manufacturing facilities to make sure they are compliant with Fair Trade practices and I use Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified washes, solvents and dyes to bring you the best and most epic organic clothing in the world. Human Revolution Clothing is a people-to-people business and we love it that way!
Chetna Organic provides farmers with organic seeds, community support and seed security while helping implement sustainable food forest farming practices, enabling farmers to provide for their families while receiving above market value for their cotton.
Rajlakshmi Cotton Mill (RCM) is one of the first GOTS certified factories in India. They have been leading the industry in Organic, Fair Trade manufacturing, and I have spent countless hours inside the factory with the owners, merchandisers and workers creating HRC’s second line of tees and tanks.
Suchismita Sarkar is my soul sister from an Indian mister! I met Suchi at RCM two years ago and we have been working together ever since. Suchi is a graduate of the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) in Kolkata, India and has worked Greenpeace India and at RCM for four years before branching off on her own to help brands, like myself, get to market. She has the integrity of an oak tree and extensive knowledge of organic fabric and fair trade practices. She is my eyes and ears in India and HRC really couldn’t and wouldn’t be, without her help!
And last, but never least, You are the reason any of this exists. You are the community, the energy, the shift, the reason, the why. You deserve the best in life, from the foods you eat to the clothing you wear. You deserve to know the truth, to be empowered, to take a stance, to BE THE CHANGE!
By supporting my campaign, your are creating the shift, supporting the farmers and their families, the factory workers, and this big green and blue earth. It’s time to transition into a more ecological and sustainable way of life,
This is it. This is the time! This is where I need your help! I am almost sold out of my first order and I need help funding my deposit and total purchase order to secure the second line of Human Revolution Clothing. The factory requires 50% payment upfront, which is where you come in! By choosing from our epic gifts listed to the side of this page and making a donation, you are helping to change the way clothing is made, seed to shirt! Who knew clothes shopping could be so rewarding!!
Do something good for yourself and loved ones today, like helping Human Revolution Clothing and the many people along our supply change change the way clothing is made, seed to shirt!
*ooops! In my video I mention our clothing comes from two different sources. This is not true. What I meant to say was a majority of our clothing comes from these two sources, oil (polyester) and Bt Cotton.
**REWARDS** (final graphics for shirts will be chosen in 2-3 weeks)
Men’s Crew neck will be similar to our first edition but what some new nips and tucks and some detailed attention (like our contrast stitching along the shoulders) for an even better look, fit and feel! Our men’s shirts are always made with the softest organic, gmofree, fair trade cotton. They are lightweight and breathable and sure to be your favorite!
Women’s crew or racerback will be similar to our first edition but with some new nips and tucks and some detailed attention! Our women’s shirts are always made with the softest organic, gmofree, fair trade cotton. They are lightweight and breathable, perfect from daytime activities to a night out!
Thank you again, have an epic day and mahalos for being a part of the Revolution!!!
*It is my goal to reach $20K, but I will be very happy to go well beyond that number! All extra funds will be used for unexpected costs that come along the way, higher duty taxes than expected, extra for shipping (since exact weight of order is not yet known) a percentage to both Planting Peace and The Malala Fund and after that, all extra donations will be kept in a fund for my next project; “adopting” an entire village and assisting them with proper tools, seeds, inputs and training to transition from chemical to organic farming. We are, after-all, a seed to shirt operation and when one part benefits, all parts benefit:)
Risks and challenges
With every great action comes the possibility for great risk. I believe that is what makes these moments and actions so profound. When dealing with the textile industry, production always takes longer than you would expect, and your order doesn’t always arrive as requested. For that reason, I have noted the rewards will be delivered in December, just to give us a little cushion!
It’s with honesty and transparency that Human Revolution Clothing exists, and I will be communicating with you amazingly awesome people throughout the timeline of production to keep you in the loop of progress, shipping and any bumps or challenges along the way!