Seasalt Cornwall Striped Dress, a New Satchel and Some Thoughts on Organic Certifications


Seasalt Cornwall Striped tunic
Seasalt Cornwall Striped TunicTunic – Seasalt Cornwall
Leggings – People Tree
shoes – Melissa
Bag – My Green Bag

I have been admiring clothes from Seasalt Cornwall on style-is.co.uk for a while now, so when I got a bit of money for my birthday, I decided to invest in a striped tunic as stripes never go out of fashion and they are also really versatile. This tunic could be worn as a top with leggings or jeans or as a dress when the warmer weather finally arrives.

I was really pleased with the tunic and know I will wear it loads because it is so comfy and easy to wear. It is made from really soft certified organic cotton which is lovely and thick. The flattering cut also means it skims rather than clings which becomes ever more important the older I get. The high neck is also great for wearing with statement necklaces and definitely my favourite style for casual clothes. Seasalt Cornwall were the first UK company to use cotton certified by the Soil Association and they still use more than any other company in the UK they also clearly show their purchasing / ethical policy on their website. I feel really confident that Seasalt Cornwall clothing has been manufactured with respect for people and planet.

The bag was also a birthday treat and is from My Green Bag. The leather is a by product of the food industry and sourced in Bangladesh and Afghanistan where it is hand cut and sewn into bags. They are then hand polished in the UK using natural substances. It states on the website that the leather is ‘organic’. I am struggling a little to understand how it can be classed as organic. To me organic means that the animals were reared organically and the leather tanned using organic vegetable substances and also that there is some sort of organic certification to prove this. As far as I can see there is no guarantees of how the leather is tanned though or how the animals are reared as there is no certification. I was told when I asked by email that the leather is sourced ‘untreated leather directly from farmers market’. The website doesn’t really give me enough information to know if vegetable tans were used or animals reared organically but I am thinking not. Reading this article in the Guardian about toxic tanneries, I am even more concerned. The quality of the bag is not great, the zip keeps breaking. I am wondering whether I should have considered this purchase a little more carefully rather than just seeing the ‘organic’ label. What do you think?

This does kind of highlight the difficulties of consumers when trying to buy ethically and sustainably. How do we know if some thing really is produced sustainably and ethically if it doesn’t have any certifications?

With warmest wishes

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9 thoughts on “Seasalt Cornwall Striped Dress, a New Satchel and Some Thoughts on Organic Certifications

  1. I agree – it isn’t entirely clear about the ethical provenance of My Green Bag. I wrote a piece on them a little while ago (http://moralfibres.co.uk/eco-friendly-bags-my-green-bag/) and asked them similar questions via e-mail as their website is quite vague and doesn’t mention very much at all about their green credentials, and was told similar (admittedly rather vague) things. I’m not sure what to think at the moment, especially the more I find out about tanneries. It’s such a minefield, isn’t it?
    Wendy @ Moral Fibres recently posted..Alternatives to GoogleMy Profile

    • Thank you for your comment. I am glad it is not just me, I think I may have been green washed! the answers to my emailed questions were a little vague too, I took more from what they didn’t say than what they did say. It is the tanning process which concerns me the most as although they use natural products to finish the leather, they do not mention the tanning process which uses toxic chemicals, causes pollution and often involves unethical practices. Concerned about the ethical aspects of the manufacture too, says nothing about this on the website. Lesson learnt! I need to do more research before buying.

  2. A fabulous outfit would look cool and stylish everywhere! Love the necklace.
    I don’t buy new stuff, ethical or anything – there’s so much decent second-hand stuff available! xxx
    Vix recently posted..Named And ShamedMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Vix. I think you are right I should have looked for a vintage/ second hand alternative, this would have been a much more sustainable option!

  3. I think you’re right to question the bag. I don’t think everything needs to be certified, but they should be able to provide a better explanation of their sourcing. Saying that the leather is untreated when it comes from farmers doesn’t even get anywhere near being able to make claims that it is organic. And presumably they will need to treat it at some point, and if they buy it untreated, then they are the ones doing it so they have to know.

    I’ll stick to scaramanga for my ethical leather bags. I really like their policies, they are very transparent and don’t overclaim.
    Franca recently posted..Red and BlueMy Profile