What does “ethically made” really mean?
Before going ahead with this project, I wanted to make sure Bambooties could be made in a planet-friendly way.
Cotton farming is responsible for 24% of insecticides globally, 15% of fabric intended for clothing goes to landfill and 95% of this could be recycled. To avoid contributing to stats like these, I decided to use reclaimed fabric. A friend introduced me to an amazing husband and wife team, Deepak and Shweta, based in Delhi, India (thank you Floss!). Shweta connected me to lots of different manufacturers in the local area who would likely have excess fabric from existing production lines. The hardest bit was catching the excess fabric before it went to waste. Shweta spent ages racing to factories to try and stop them from throwing it away. We also wanted to be careful that the fabric was 100% cotton, to ensure it would be safe for baby feet. Eventually Shweta found a manufacturer who was a little more understanding about holding excess fabric for us and ensuring it was baby safe.
While we were still sourcing the reclaimed fabric, we needed to get a bit of feedback on the design, so we made the first run of booties using normal cotton. But, now that we’ve found a way to source it, every pair of Bambooties is made with reclaimed cotton. So, when you choose to buy a pair of Bambooties over another product, you’re protecting the planet by reducing fabric waste and you’re not contributing to global demand to grow more cotton, which has an impact on water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the spraying of pesticides. There are also plenty of hazardous by-products created during fabric production and dying, so you’re avoiding all those too! :)