Blog

Why We Love Organic Cotton

organic cotton clothing

Organic cotton. You probably know of it as a 'better' cotton, a more environmentally friendly cotton. But what does the 'organic' part actually mean?

Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Only 2.5% of the world's farmland is used to grow cotton, yet 10% of all chemical pesticides and 22% of insecticides are sprayed on conventional cotton (OrganicCotton.Org). Heavy pesticides disrupt ecosystems, damaging the soil and contaminating water supplies. These chemicals can be toxic. The World Trade Organisation estimated 20,000 people die every year due to the use of agricultural pesticides in developing countries (WHO). Conventional cotton production also uses huge amounts of water. The drying of the Aral Sea is in part due to diversions of huge amounts of water for cotton farming (Columbia University)!

organic cotton fabric

Organic cotton farming uses natural pesticides instead of synthetic chemicals, that help to keep pests away without causing major environmental impacts (Speezees). These include chili, neem, garlic and soap (FairTrade.Org). Organic cotton farmers also usually grow other crops in between small plots of cotton, like tomatoes and aubergines. The extra foliage helps to create a  natural barrier against pests and provides another source of income. It also helps to reduce the impact of water pollution by up to 98%! Organic cotton farming is also largely rain-fed, saving even more water.

organic cotton production

So if organic cotton farmers use natural pesticides, why do we often pay more? When it comes to fast fashion, someone or something else is usually paying the price. The farmers are often being underpaid and are exposed to harmful chemicals. The environment is also being degraded. So when you buy organic cotton, you are getting a higher quality, mindfully made product. You are supporting more environmentally friendly, safe and sustainability farming processes (Cottonedon.org). We believe it's worth paying more to fight the exploitation of our planet and our people!

organic cotton in India

We at Bibico have therefore continued our 100% organic cotton collection into our Spring line. We've consciously crafted classic items, great for everyday, to help you to style yourself sustainably. This jersey collection is produced by a small, family-run business in southern India that we have worked with for a number of years.

If your interested in finding out more about organic cotton we recommend you watch the True Cost Movie. See the trailer here or watch the the whole movie on netflix.

We hope you love the organic cotton collection just as much as we do! Follow this link to shop: Shop organic cotton clothing

organic cotton clothing by bibico

How To Wash A Wool Jumper & Look After It

how to wash a wool jumper and look after it

Many people get put off buying wool jumpers because they are hard to clean and look after. It’s a great shame as wool is such a wonderful fabric. Unlike synthetic fabrics wool is breathable, very warm and once it has eventually been worn out (which usually takes a long time) it is 100% biodegradable so it’s good for the environment too.

To show you that it is not that difficult to wash and care for your wool jumper we have put a little guide together to show you how to do it:

1.Don’t wash it! (or at least not very often)

The great thing about wool jumpers is that you don’t have to wash them as often as knitwear made from synthetic fibres. Wool does not stain easily and does not easily absorb aromas, making it ideal for multiple wears, therefore making it ideal for outdoor use. So if your jumper isn’t physically dirty and has no distinctive odours, there is no rush to wash it!

machine washing wool jumpers

2. Hand wash or machine wash

Always check the wash care label but if in doubt hand wash your wool jumpers. Most new washing machines have a wool hand wash cycle which is quite effective but for delicate wool jumpers especially hand knitted jumpers or jumpers made from mohair we would recommend hand wash only.

how to hand wash a wool jumper

3. How to hand wash your wool jumper

a. Soak your wool jumper in cold water a few hours before washing it. This will allow the wool fibres to become saturated and stop them from shrinking.

b. Use a detergent that is made for hand washing wool garments - these detergents prevent bobbling occuring and preserve the fibres. We recommend using Ecocover Delicate.

c. Add the correct amount of detergent and gently wash without rubbing the fibres together too much.

d. Finally rinse the jumper in cold or luke warm water in order to remove the soap.

4. How to dry your wool jumper

a. Never twist or wring wool jumpers or they will lose their shape.

b. Squeeze and press out all the water you can.

c. For non-delicate wool garments you can use a very low spin cycle in the washing machine (again check your wash care label) however for very delicate garments such as mohair or cashmere it is recommended to air dry.

d. Lie the jumper flat so it does not lose shape. Lying it on top of a towel will soak up additional moisture.

How to care for your wool jumper

folded wool sweaters

1. Fold them, don’t hang them

Never fold or hang a wool or cashmere jumper as they will lose their shape. Always fold them when storing them.

remove bobbles from knitwear with a bobble buster

2. Bobble buster

Bobbling is the result of two pieces of fabric rubbing together and can also occur with washing.

Make sure you remove the bobbles regularly. Invest in an electronic bobble remover. They are cheap and will make your jumper look new again. You can buy one from Lakeland here

brush your knitwear

3. Brush them

Remove hairs and excess lint with a soft clothes brush. You can buy one here.

comb your knitwear to get rid of bobbles

4. Comb them

For fine knitwear or cashmere you can use a cashmere comb to remove any excess bobbles. Buy can buy one here

cedar balls to keep moths away from your knitwear

5. Keep the moths away

Store your jumpers with cedar balls to ensure your knitwear is not attacked by moths. If you find moths holes in your knitwear put your jumpers in the freezer for 48 hours and then wash. This should kill the moth eggs. You can buy some here

6. Keep them dry

Before you store away your jumpers for the summer make sure they are bone dry to stop any mold or mildew occuring.

 

The wool truth: Benefits of wearing wool

benefits of wearing wool

 With a winter chill filtering through the air, it’s time to wrap up in some cosy wool knits. And what better time to start than national wool week? At BIBICO we are all about natural fibres, and wool is at the top of our list when we want to warm up. Why? As there are so many benefits to this uniquely cosy material. Here are some of them:


1.    It’s natural
Wool is a natural protein fibre found on the backs of the millions of sheep you see over the world. It is considered one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection, and man-made fibres with the same properties have yet to be produced.


2.    It’s biodegradable
That’s right, it naturally decomposes into the soil releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. Compared to synthetic materials, it’s a very quick decomposer too!


3.    It’s renewable
For as long as there’s grass to graze, sheep will grow producing a woolly fleece, a renewable fibre source. And woolgrowers actively work to protect the natural environment, enhancing the sustainability of the wool industry to enable future generations to benefit from this warm natural material.


4.    It’s breathable
As wool fibres are packed together, tiny pockets of air form allowing the material to absorb and release moisture. This could be moisture in the atmosphere, or perspiration from the wearer. This makes wool an extremely breathable material and helps you avoid any clamminess when you head inside from the colder outdoors.


5.    It reacts to your body
Wool is also able to react to any changes in your body temperature. It’s an active fibre that helps you to stay warm when it’s cold and cools you when it’s warm. This makes it the perfect material all throughout the year, helping you minimise your wardrobe and maximise the sustainability of your closet!


6.    It’s static resistant
As wool can absorb moisture from your body or the surrounding air, it rarely creates static electricity like synthetic fibres do, keeping you cosy and comfortable and avoiding any awkward clinging.


7.    It’s easy to clean
As its primary function is to protect the body of a sheep to the surrounding environment, wool fibres have a natural protective outer layer. This helps to prevent any marks or stains from being absorbed, so the dirt sits of the surface and is easily removed. See our guide to How To Wash A Wool Jumper here.


8.    It’s anti-wrinkle
Each wool fibre is structured much like a coiled string, allowing it to return to its natural shape after being bent, so woollen items tend not to crease or wrinkle. This makes them the perfect addition to you everyday bag or great items to pack when you’re going on holiday.


9.    It’s odour-resistant
As wool can absorb the moisture from your skin, and therefore the sweat when you perspire, wool can even help to absorb any odour from sweating that is only released upon washing. So wool clothing is great for layering up in post-workout when you need to brave the cooler air outside.  


10.    It’s eco-friendly
And last but certainly not least, wool has eco credentials! It’s a natural, renewable product that biodegrades much quicker than synthetic fabrics. It’s got a long lifespan and is frequently and easily recycled and reused. It is also a carbon store; pure organic carbon makes up 50% of the weight of wool. And research is now investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of wool. Wool bedding and sleepwear has been associated with a better night’s kip, promoting sleep onset and improving sleep efficiency.  Merino wool has also been found to help people that suffer from chronic skin conditions, despite misconceptions of it being “itchy”, due to its moisture and temperature management qualities.


So if you’re looking for layers to help you adapt to the cooling temperatures, opt for wool. Browse our full knitwear wool collection here or our hand knitted jumpers here.