The dreams of an organic cotton clothing company to be the most trusted and desirable brand on the planet.
7 years ago we started our little organic cotton clothing company and called it Cut4Cloth. Back then our lives were dominated by our new baby boy and cloth nappies, but we knew that quitting our jobs and following our dream was what we had to do.
I was a big leap of faith. One of those ‘if we don’t do it now will we always regret it’ moments that come along every once in a while. Well we did it and our first range of organic cotton baby clothes that would fit over a cloth nappy was launched in the summer of 2004.
We had one computer, in our spare room, a dial-up internet connection and a dream.
Now we have twenty one computers, in a purpose built unit, 2 broadband lines…and a dream.
Our dream is for Frugi to be the most desirable and trusted organic cotton clothing brand on the planet.
Frugi clothes are always design lead. It is all very well to have the softest and strongest organic cotton in the world, but if the design is wrong then all ethics and environmentally friendliness in the world will not help. The clothes have to look great too.
We now do clothes for newborn, baby, kids and mother. Our ‘mother’ range is designed to help breastfeeding mums feed their babies discreetly, but in style. Our Baby range is sill cut that bit bigger for cloth nappies and our kids range now goes up yo 8 years old.
We now have a consumer website and a wholesale website and a great facebook page.
The dream is alive…
Kurt (Living the dream)
Welcome to 2010. It’s a lovely round number isn’t it? This year will see Frugi / cut4cloth turn 6. We’ve been born, gone to pre-school, started ‘big’ school and we’re now in year 2 so to speak.
Since Lucy and I started Cut4Cloth in 2004, organic cotton clothing has emerged from the fringes to become much more widely known and appreciated. Back then we had to explain to everyone what organic cotton was. “Can you eat it?” was the standard quip. Don’t hear that much anymore.
2009 was a vintage year.
We went to India twice to see our manufacturers, meet the organic cotton farmers and explore. We sent Adam, our photographer, along on the second trip. Hopefully, when his feet touch the ground, we’ll get lots of pictures up on the blog and in the catalogue – maybe even some video of it all. (Do people still use the word ‘video’? )
We donated 10K to our two charities. PAN UK (Pesticide action network) and the Cornwall marine strandings network, via our membership to 1% for the planet
We had a brilliant sample sale and gave the proceeds to an Orphanage near to one of our manufacturers, in India.
Some great people joined us, at Frugi towers, in 2009. We now have an assistant garment technologist, Abigail, a graphic designer, Nathan, and ‘Doris’ AKA Derek in the warehouse!
Oh, and we also sold some amazing organic cotton clothes. The best yet. Thank you to all of our customers for your support, tweets, face-book comments, blogs, chat etc. etc. It’s just brilliant to get your input.
So, to infinity and beyond! 2010 looks set for even more adventurous and exciting. The Spring stock is arriving soon, and hopefully the sun will shine upon us all.
Thank you so much everyone. No really, I mean it. It’s a blast and it really feels like we’re achieving great things!!
Here’s to the future
Despite being located in the sleepiest part of the UK, with possibly the slowest train line known to man, more fish and chips shops than sushi bars and absolutely no IKEA stores, never let it be said that Planet Frugi doesn’t have global awareness.
Working with 1% For the Planet enables us to monitor where every single penny of the 1% of our turnover that we donate to specially chosen grass-roots environmental project goes. And with well-established manufacturing links with India, it was kind of a no-brainer for Pan UK to be one of those projects.
We’ve been supporting Pan UK’s Growing Hope Project for the last 3 years, helping to fund many organic cotton farmers in Benin, West Africa to find a way to farm organically without having to use nasty chemicals and pesticides.
The clever guys (and girls) at Pan UK have developed a novel pest management tool for organic cotton. They’ve concocted a food spray that attracts useful insects to cotton plants, who then munch the nasty little pests that find cotton plants so tasty. They’ve spent 2 years testing their nifty new spray, as well as training farmers when to use it, and have found it to be so successful that they can now start to wind down the project. Hurray!
But we want to continue supporting Pan UK’s excellent work. So, from now on, we’re going to be supporting them by funding Neem Oil-making machines.
Neem seed extract is one of the most effective bio-pesticides for the Benin organic cotton farmers. Neem trees grow wild all over the country, meaning the raw material is free! Turning neem seeds into oil is a community affair, with all the local farmers coming together to collect the seeds and grind them up. But the grinding process is slow and hard work, needing several days to make enough neem powder to last the season. And this is where Frugi’s money comes in!
We are initially going to provide one machine for each of the 5 major organic cotton growing regions where Pan UK works. These mechanical grinders make making Neem Oil easier, faster and more efficient. Brilliant!
The other project we fund is a bit closer to home. Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network brings together a group of dedicated volunteers, passionate about researching marine mammal strandings on our beaches.
Their untiring work is so important in helping us to understand how and why these deaths of dolphins and other beautiful marine mammals occur, so that some day, some very clever person might be able to come up with a cunning plan to help prevent strandings!
More on that project another time!
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