Do U Speak Green?

Authentic Eco-Fashion from India


December 2013

BIG IDEA 2014: The Year for Climate Action

Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)
Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)

This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014. See all the ideas here.

My big idea is not new. Nor is it, in the larger sense, mine. But it is an idea that will be one major focus of my work next year, and one in which I believe deeply. In 2014, we must turn the greatest collective challenge facing humankind today – climate change – into the greatest opportunity for common progress towards a sustainable future. Next year is the year for climate action.

We can delay no longer. Our hopes of eradicating poverty, achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015 and implementing an ambitious development agenda beyond 2015 rest on tackling this challenge now. The costs of inaction will only rise.

Countries have agreed to finalize an ambitious global legal agreement on climate change by 2015. But there is a steep climb ahead and 2014 is a pivotal year for generating the action and momentum that will propel us forward.

Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and the oceans are becoming more acidic. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise – we e are the first humans ever to breathe air with 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Extreme weather events – heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones – are more frequent and severe.

We need look no further than the recent catastrophe in the Philippines. All around the world, people now face and fear the wrath of a warming planet.

The science is clear. Human activities are the dominant cause of climate change. We cannot blame nature.

I am deeply concerned that the scale of our actions is still insufficient to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, the point where the most dangerous impacts of climate change are expected to take hold.

Yet I am also hopeful because I see gains on multiple fronts towards a low-carbon future. Many governments, businesses, community groups, women, youth and indigenous leaders are innovating and forging solutions.

A solar ger -- traditional Mongolian tent
A solar ger — traditional Mongolian tent

New programmes for sustainable cities and climate-smart agriculture are already delivering benefits. Many initiatives are working to reduce emissions and air pollution while strengthening resilience. Countries and companies are realizing the economic advantages of combating climate change. Global demand for clean energy, such as solar and wind, continues to rise very sharply and clean energy investment has quadrupled over the last decade.

We now know it is possible to close the emissions gap. We must build on this momentum.

To achieve the large-scale transformation necessary to stabilize the climate, countries not only need to send the right policy signals and meet their climate finance commitments but also set much bolder targets. Climate finance is an investment in the future. It must not be taken hostage by short-term budget considerations.

The rewards can be considerable. As well as reducing emissions, we can light rural clinics and schools, empower local businesses and invigorate economies. Universal access to clean energy can benefit people’s health and advance gender equality. We can open new markets, create decent jobs, and sustainably design burgeoning urban growth.

Private investment is essential to meet the growing demand for energy in the developing world.

But we cannot mobilize private resources without a public lever. Smart public financing can encourage local and international private investments. Investors and companies need to join forces with the public sector.

Geothermal power plant in Iceland
Geothermal power plant in Iceland

I will convene a Climate Summit in New York on 23 September next year, one day before the opening of the annual UN General Assembly debate. This Summit is meant to be a solutions summit, not a negotiating session. I have invited all Heads of State and Government, along with leaders from business and finance, local government and civil society.

I am asking all who come to bring bold and new announcements and action. I am asking them to bring their big ideas.

Until then, I will continue to put every effort into mobilizing political will, moving financial investors, influencing business leaders and motivating people everywhere to do all they can.

Rising to the challenge of climate change is a big idea for next year. But it is also a big idea for the future – of humankind and of our planet. It is a momentous responsibility to shoulder, but I firmly believe that every one of us can step up and become leaders in combating climate change, promoting sustainable development and building lives of dignity for all.

Future generations will judge our action on this issue. In 2014, we have the chance to step over to the right side of history. Let’s take it.

Photo: United Nations


Why is Organic Clothing costly to BUY?


We occasionally receive emails, calls , messages from people who are confused, concerned, dismayed, and even irritated about the cost of organic and natural clothing. This is a touchy point that often comes up in the organic industry – clothing and also vegetables, fruit, skin care, and everything that can bear an organic label. We beyond doubt do understand people’s concern and irritation at the perceived high cost of some organic and natural clothing.

Like most new and emerging industries, small companies and “mom & pop” stores are working hard to build the organic and sustainable clothing market. Small companies lack the size and buying muscle to achieve economies of scale that drive prices lower. But the organic and sustainable clothing industry is about more than achieving “always low prices”; it is also about ethics and sustainability and doing what is right for workers, consumers and the planet.

But all the fuzzy feel good issues aside, how can many conventional cotton brands  charge only Rs.250 for a conventionally-grown, manufactured and hand-sewn men’s cotton tee while DUSG? charges Rs.790? The reasons are many, complex, and vary according to a large shopping bag of factors. We have jotted a few points which we feel are the most common and significant factors that affect the price of organic clothing. These are not in any particular order.

1.Organic cotton is more expensive to grow than conventional, chemically drenched and unsustainable cotton. At first blush, you might think that organic should be less expensive to grow because organic doesn’t use expensive GMO seeds, expensive petroleum-based fertilizers, or expensive toxic herbicides and pesticides like conventionally grown crops and cottons. But organically grown crops still must contend with weeds and fight devouring insects and this all costs money … actually more money than conventional chemical methods which is why conventional methods use all those toxic and deadly chemicals.

2.Organic cotton is more expensive to harvest. To reduce harvesting costs and improve cotton yields, conventional cotton harvesting uses a variety of harvest-aids such as spraying cotton fields with chemicals like thidiazuron to defoliate cotton plants by removing mature and juvenile leaves to facilitate machine harvesting, suppress growth of new plant leaves, desiccants containing pyraflufen ethyl, carfentrazon, dimethipin, paraquat, and glyphosate to kill and dry leaves remaining on the cotton plants and weeds after chemical defoliation, and chemicals containing the active ingredient ethephon to accelerate the opening of the cotton bolls. Organic cotton harvesting is done without the use of these chemical harvest-aids and is more labor intensive resulting in higher harvest costs.

3.Organic fabrics are more expensive to manufacture. Because of the relatively small quantities of cotton involved, it is more expensive to gin, clean and manufacture organic cotton fabric. Almost all organic cotton fabric is manufactured in facilities that also process and manufacture conventional cotton fabrics from conventionally grown chemical cotton. But, before the organic cotton can be processed in these facilities, all the cotton gins and weaving and knitting machines must be cleaned of all residues from the processing of the conventional cotton. Of course, the facility owners add the additional costs for this cleaning and equipment downtime to the production costs for the organic fabrics. This all contributes to driving up the costs for producing organic cotton fabrics.

4.Organic garments are more expensive to manufacture for many reasons. Some of them relate to the relatively small size of the organic clothing market and the need to frequently share manufacturing facilities with conventional clothing. Like the manufacturing process, all sewing machines and work areas must be cleaned of conventional garments and contaminants before being used for sewing organic garments.

But there is another more significant factor why much conventional clothing is so inexpensive – cheap labor that often borders near being sweatshop or indentured. Basically, most large clothing retailers contract with many dozens of clothing manufacturing facilities scattered in developing countries around the world. Many of these facilities exploit the poorest and most desperate workers and pay pennies a day to workers who sew long hours under appalling conditions to make those cheap, inexpensive shirts, pants and undergarments that fill the large, mega stores in our home towns and shopping malls.

5.Organic garments are more expensive to ship to distributors, retailers and customer. This isn’t because they are organic, but because the market size is so much smaller.

6.Organic clothing retailers find it more expensive to advertise and market. The huge retail chains can use their enormous marketing budgets and muscle to get the most cost-effective advertising. This, also, is really a small store vs. enormous chain store issue but it figures into the perception of organic clothing being more expensive than conventional clothing.

Although we have frequently mentioned cotton, the same factors are generally also true for other natural fibers such as hemp, bamboo, wool, soya, corn and the growing number of other natural fibers being used to manufacture natural and healthy fabrics.

An inconvenient truth is that organic and all-natural clothing will always be more expensive than conventional, chemical clothing. The good news is that the price gap will continue to shrink as the market size of organic clothing grows and the economies of scale improve. Doing what is right is not always easy … or cheap, sometimes.

Don’t worry. No one is growing fat or wealthy from selling organic and all natural clothing. We all wish that everyone could easily afford all the organic, sustainable and healthy clothing that they need and we are working toward that end. But it will only happen by all us working together and supporting each other.

We do hope you enjoy this article ……… We look forward to your comments & queries if any…..

Shopping with the best …..


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑