It was a fortuitous interaction that saw Nature Baby discover the cotton supplier they work with today. After researching and looking for a supplier since the late 1990s, they moved their search to India. In the early 2000s, a new cotton supplier started up, emailing Nature Baby to establish a connection. And, with that, they had found their supplier and the long-standing relationship was formed.
Over the last 15 years that Nature Baby has been working with their cotton supplier, they’ve learned much about the cotton industry. When they started their search they were purely looking for completed garments that were organic, chemical-free, high quality and made in a respectful way. They quickly discovered their cotton supplier was working at the forefront of organic and ethical production, and Nature Baby learned a lot more from them in the early days than anticipated.
“In our journey with [the supplier] we realised it ran much deeper and that they were applying the philosophy that goes with organics – healthy soil, toxin-free farming, community initiatives and ethical practices – all the way through their business,” Georgia Faull, founder of Nature Baby, explains.
The efforts Nature Baby has gone to in order to ensure their processes, from cotton planting to delivering a product to a customer are ethical and sustainable, have been recognised in the 2019 Tearfund Ethical report. They were awarded an overall A- grade. “This is the first time Nature Baby has been included in the report, and we are so proud of this result. Being one of the smallest companies in the survey and being scored highly reflects what we
have been doing and focusing on for the last 20 years,” Faull says. Nature Baby received an A+ grade for environmental management, which looks at governance, materials, emissions, chemical use, water use, waste water and material/product waste. They’re especially pleased with this result.
“Although we’re happy with the grade we received, we see sustainable and ethical production as an ongoing journey rather than an end point, and believe that we, and all others in the industry, can keep working to get better at policies and processes in these areas,” Faull says.
The thing about cotton, Faull says, is that conventionally grown, it is one of the world’s most environmentally destructive crops. Many crops use pesticides as well as much of it being grown using genetically modified seeds, which can cause soil and water pollution. Nature Baby’s choice to use organic cotton, and work alongside a farm that is certified by one of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (iFOAM) family standards means their cotton is better for the babies wearing their garments, as well as the environment.
“Through organic cotton farming, no genetically modified seeds are used, and the use of all pesticides or chemicals is banned, meaning the soils stay fertile and less water is required for farming than conventional cotton. Organic cotton retains more water efficiently due to the organic matter in the soil.” Faull says.
The team aren’t stopping here though. Although they’re doing well on their ethical and sustainable journey, they’re continuing their research to ensure they provide the highest quality product to nurture the next generation, but part of this process is ensuring there will be a world for them to grow up in. Their business model is one of the places they’re developing to foster fairness and equality.
“If we can make a product that is the best in every way – purity, quality – and produce in a way that supports people and communities rather than extract resource or money, then we have a model that is win-win. Our dream is that we can help positively change consciousness so we can all start to improve the world we live in.”
Recently the team headed along to visit their suppliers, and they produced this video to give you an insight into the people and the processes behind the creation of their baby clothing and accessories. Take a look: