Lauren Adelman, a native New Yorker who lives in Hawaii, came up with the idea to create organic, GMO-free, fair trade clothes. If you think “nothing new!” you have to get acquainted with a few extremely relevant and devastating facts about a textile industry which stands against this idea. Over 90% of cotton grown worldwide is genetically modified. There is a prevalent strain of genetically modified cotton called Bt Cotton. The Bt stands for the bacteria, Bacillus Thuringiensis.
This bacteria has been spliced into every cell of the Bt cotton plant, meaning you can’t wash or clean it off. Bacillus Thuringiensis is an organism that produces over 200 different toxins, each harmful to various insects. This strain was created to “decrease” the need for chemical insecticides and pesticides. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened and, with the rise of Bt cotton, came the need for more toxic inputs, resulting in lower yields (harvestable cotton) and higher costs for farmers.
Extensive research shows cotton has turned into one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world (and is second to oil as the dirtiest plant in the world). An endless ingredient list of toxic chemical insecticides and pesticides are entering our fragile ecosystem at unprecedented rates, causing irreversible damage in its wake. The real kicker is that we ingest more cotton than we wear. 65% of conventional cotton production ends up not as our clothing, but in our food chain via cottonseed oil.
Still, some of you can say “So what? I don’t eat clothes!” Here is next calamitous fact. In the past decade, India has experienced mass suicide with rural cotton farmers. Over 300,000 Indian farmers committed suicide because of Bt cotton adoption in rainfed areas. Many farmers fall into a cycle of debt from the purchase of expensive, commercialized GM (genetically modified) seeds and chemical inputs (insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers) that fail to yield enough to sustain their livelihoods, leaving them in a dead end of lifetime debt and slavery.
All of this data strengthened Adelman’s belief in producing organic cotton. Before she produced HRC’s first order, she went to India and started what has become an annual tradition of meeting the farmers. Spending time in these villages, including with the wives and children, has completely altered the way she views and feels about the clothing industry. Adelman said Human Revolution Clothing was her personal mission to bridge the gap between humanity and the material world.
Human Revolution Clothing bases itself on a foundation of four principles: community, integrity, transparency, and sustainability. Every year, the founder still visits the farmers and their communities. She controls manufacturing facilities to make sure they are compliant with Fair Trade practices, and she uses Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified washes, solvents, and dyes. By donating to Adelman’s campaign on Kickstarter, you are supporting the farmers and their families, as well as the factory workers, and you gain an opportunity to wear lightweight and breathable cotton clothes.