INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR IRISH ORGANIC CLOTHING COMPANY
Oct. 1 /99
Genetics press release
The pioneering spirit of a small company from Kilcar, Co. Donegal, has
earned it major recognition, taking second place overall in an
international competition for ecologically aware design.
Natural Instincts , which specialises in garments made from organically
produced wool and cotton, was chosen over hundreds of companies from
countries around the world to achieve a place in the finals of the
International Design Eco Awards (idea) 1999, a new annual awards programme
whose aim is to promote ecological design and innovation in a holistic
The aim of the eco awards programme is to promote ecological design and
innovation, raising the awareness of good practice as well as highlighting
the social, cultural and economic benefits to all from producer to
Mr. James Doogan, managing director of Natural Instincts, said he was
delighted with the recognition that would come from the award. "While
the demand for organic clothing lags behind demand for organic food, I
have no doubt that, as people become more aware of the availability of
practical and stylish organic clothing, that demand will grow
"Over the past nine years we have continuously developed a range of
garments produced without any harm to the environment", he said. "That
range includes both underwear and outer garments for men, women and
children, all of which are now available by mail-order in Britain and
"The wool we use is from sheep raised on Irish organic farms which are
certified by the Irish Organic Trust. Collection and quality control of
the wool is overseen by Mr. Joseph Finke, Ballybrado House, Cahir, Co.
Tipperary. No organophosphate sheep dips are used in washing the sheep.
We have used the wool in its natural colours together with three colours
for piece-dying, using reactive dyes which are free of heavy metals and
have a minimum impact on the environment.
"It is totally biodegradable and is even suitable for composting when the
garment is being disposed of. A further consideration is that
piece-dying can be done quickly on request in small amounts, so it is
economical and prevents large amounts of yarns being dyed and held in
stock with the risk of becoming unfashionable and, therefore, producing
waste", Mr. Doogan explained.
The two complete outfits submitted by Natural Instincts for the
competition were made using wool spun and woven by Mr. Andrew Eadie of
Kerry Woollen Mills, Beaufort, Co. Kerry, and were designed by 301 Design,
Copenhagen, Denmark. The outfits are designed to be wearable in a
variety of different combinations and some of the fabrics are
double-faced, giving the possibility of turning the garment.
In some knits there is both a different colour and a different texture in
the alternative sides of the fabric. This feature prolongs the lifetime
of a garment by distributing the wear and satisfies the human need for
change. The fabrics can be used for coats, jackets, jumpers, cardigans,
trousers, skirts and dresses.
"The cotton used in Natural Instincts garments is also organically
produced with no herbicides or pesticides. The purity and ecological
quality of the cotton throughout all the processes of growing, spinning,
knitting and manufacturing are controlled by SKAL, an independent and
internationally-acknowledged inspection and certification body for organic
production", said Mr. Doogan.
craig k harris
department of sociology
michigan state university
429b berkey hall
east lansing michigan 48824-1111
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