Guest Post: Introducing Marina & Irina, Founders of Ecooutfitters

Most school uniform is an absolute nightmare for children with eczema.  Itchy, uncomfortable and synthetic materials that heat and aggravate sensitive skin.  Which is why we are so pleased that we that we can now offer a much better option, thanks to Ecooutfitters. Today, these two resourceful mums tell us why they set out to provide our children with 100% pure cotton, organic school uniform.

Marina & Irina with their children.

Ecooutfitters was born when our little boys started at primary school.  Excited by the news that they had been offered a place in their first choice school we rushed to the school designated uniform shop to kit them out. However, the anticipation of trying out their first school uniform turned to disappointments, when my son announced that ‘it was too itchy’ and hurriedly took it off.

When we checked the labels, it transpired that all their uniform garments were
made from either a polycotton mix or just from polyester, which is essentially
plastic – a substance derived directly from crude oil. We learned that these
fabrics have an unfavourable affect on children’s sensitive skin by trapping heat
and preventing the skin from breathing, which can potentially trigger rashes and
aggravate eczema.

The school uniform is probably the most important garment in children’s
wardrobe, since it is worn by them for at least 7 hours a day, 5 days a week,
running around, getting hot and sweaty. Therefore, we believe, it is important
that it is made from natural, breathable fibres.

We spent days trying to find an alternative school wear, which did not contain
polyester, and is not sprayed with any of these stain/crease resistant chemically
loaded coatings, but to no avail. Surprised by the lack of availability of school
uniform made from natural, chemical free fibres we decided to jump in at the
deep end, and create our own uniform range made from 100% cotton. However,
once we began researching, we discovered that cotton plants are very prone
to pest attacks and, therefore, cotton crops are heavily treated with chemicals,
using approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of the
pesticides. These pesticides’ residuals are retained in the fabric through to the
final product. It has transpired, that it takes 250ml of chemicals to produce one
standard cotton T-shirt!

We learned that the best alternative is organic cotton, which is grown without
chemicals and, is therefore, a much better choice for health, wildlife, and the
environment. In addition, it has the advantage of being stronger and softer than
conventional cotton and tends to have greater longevity and more durability
when washed due to its natural composition. Organic cotton has naturally become the fabric of choice for our uniform collection. Not only are our garments made from organically grown cotton, but the entire production process is free from toxic, damaging, and irritating chemicals and dyes. All our products are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified, which ensures that every step of production adheres to their strict environmental and social criteria.

It took us over a year to develop our products, but our efforts were well
rewarded as our children loved their soft and cosy new uniforms, and we felt confident enough to introduce it to the rest of the school.

We are very proud and happy to be able to offer children’s school uniform that are healthy, sustainable, and ethical too, and we hope more schools will embrace uniforms that benefit both children and the environment.

New styles and sizes will be available from March 2014.

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