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February 17, 2021 4 min read

The Keeper's unique 100% natural organic cotton and plant dyed bags are completely 

- SUSTAINABLE

- BIODEGRADABLE

- COMPOSTABLE

- REUSABLE

- RECYCLABLE

- ZERO WASTE

 

What makes our bags unique?

The fabric we use for many of our bags originates from very old traditional technology which is missing today. We have been gifted a technician who is an expert in this field. This enables us to produce shopping and storage bags made from material that has been developed specially to meet the requirements of the bags. The strength to hold weight required to shop efficiently combined with flexibility and lightness for portability.

Any fabric dying and fabric printing we do, evolve from chemically free natural herbs and plants. With over 12 years of research and development, that our dye master put into finding solutions to achieve colours that meet commercial dying standards, we now can offer a completely naturally dyed collection.

This process uses at least 75% less water and energy than commercial machine dyed fabric. We will be offering in future, many more products in plant dyed colours for dying our bags and plant dyed printing on all of our products.

 

Where are they produced?

Our bags are produced in India within the region Tamil Nadhu, and in one of the oldest cities in this region Karur. The English translation for Karur is Textile. Karur is the centre of textiles in India. We have partnered with one of the oldest and most reputable organic cotton mills in the region. Sustainability and the happiness of the workers is part of every decision we make. 

Along with textiles, the economy of Karur is generated from agriculture. Cotton, rice, sugar cane, oil seeds, coconuts, mangoes, bananas and betel are the major produce grown in the farmland of Karur.

 

How does using organic cotton benefit us and the earth?

Did you know that conventionally grown cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop in the entire world? These toxic chemicals are harmful to not only farmers and workers, but to us as consumers and the entire wildlife ecosystems as well. Using organic cotton products is helping restoring the natural order of our soil, and bringing harmony back into the entire ecosystem.

GOTS certified organic cotton guarantees non-GMO seeds. While conventional cotton is planted using GMO seeds, and fertilised by chemicals to bring better cotton yields.

Initially organic cotton uses more water, however in the long term, the need for watering organic cotton fields is reduced. Why? Organic cotton is a rotation crop. When crops are rotated, the soil develops better water retention. Regular cotton is usually the sole crop planted. The chemically fed cotton is depleting the soil, and leaves the soil incapable of holding water. Most organic cotton is rain-fed and not irrigated, especially when it is grown in monsoon regions like Kurur in India. 

Purchasing 100% organic cotton shopping bags help protect your produce from harmful chemicals that can leak into the food or even your skin. This means that people who are chemically sensitive and allergic can safely use organic cotton.

The breathable cotton also allows ethylene gas that naturally coming from the food to escape - while plastic bags trap this gas and deterioration of your food can be accelerated.

 

How biodegradable is organic cotton?

Since cotton is made by nature, it can be biodegraded by nature. By biodegrading cotton to the original building blocks that nature used to create it makes these building blocks available to create new living things. (source: barnhardt cotton)

Cotton is biodegradable both anaerobically (without oxygen) and aerobically (with oxygen). Modern landfills are sealed and keep out water and oxygen, making them anaerobic. Cotton will degrade under these conditions but much more slowly than in aerobic conditions, or in a compost heap.

According to Down To Earth Materials research the following is the estimated time for some everyday items that are all around us to decompose in landfill sites:

  • Plastic bottles: 70-450 years
  • Plastic bag: 500-1000 years
  • Tin can: around 50 years
  • Leather shoes: 25-40 years
  • Thread: 3-4 months
  • Cotton: 1-5 months

Is organic cotton good quality?

Organic practices produces great quality cotton. As Mariusz Stochaj from Continental Clothing puts it “…when compared like-for-like, organic fibres consistently produce better quality yarns than conventional cotton.”

 

What about our packaging?

The Keeper products are completely organic - including the wrapping! Much of our packaging is made from organic cotton paper while the rest is recycled paper.

Cotton paper is made from off cuts of organic cotton garments. The 24 hour process creates the strongest existing paper.

Completely chemically free!  The paper is produced using 50% water and 50% organic cotton. Whatever water remains after the cycle has been completed, it is then reused 7 times. Any remaining water is dispersed into their fields of coconut and banana trees as fertiliser. Cotton is a very good fertiliser. Totally sustainable and we are saving many trees!

This process was developed after 10 years of research & development and now is a very unique and special manufacturing plant in India. Underneath the solar panels on the above picture is this manufacturing paper plant.

  

What is GOTS certified?

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

GOTS Certified 100% Organic Cotton products guarantees that the cotton has been grown without using chemicals and the making of the fabric and bags uses only chemically free machines.  It also certifies that the people sewing our bags work under good conditions and are rewarded fairly. 

 

We hope we have given you some confidence in our products and our process and production of these products. For more information please feel free to contact us. 

- The Keeper Team


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