Our 100% Organic Cotton Artist Tees

Every morning we wake up, stretch our toes, and practice the same ritual. The ritual of checking in with the self, measuring how we feel, what we need, and how to approach our day. We sit on the edge of our beds and assess our mood, the weather, our priorities  and the clothes that will bring the most comfort and confidence for the day’s occasions. For many of us this can be as simple as the right pair of vintage jeans and a classic tee like Merge’s Organic Cotton Artist Tee.

At Merge we believe that what we do to uplift ourselves in turn pours outward to our community and environment, and vice versa. So how do we hold our daily self expression accountable to our dear community and environment? We believe in two practices to get you started, supporting local artists and consciously buying sustainable clothing.

The Soul Filling Practice Of Wearing Art

Cultivating artistic community and sharing creative energy with local artists for our organic cotton t-shirts have been such heartwarming endeavours. It’s invigorating to join creative minds together and collaborate on a piece. Whether it be creating a tranquil beach scene, a playful luncheon or daily mantra we love bridging connection between the artist's message and you. 

We all know what we wear says a lot about our values, interests, uniqueness, and confidence. Artists wink at the innuendos in life and portray emotional experience in enchanting ways. When we have a chance to wear their art, we too are connecting with the dance of humanness they’re inviting us to explore. It’s a remarkable visual form of self expression.

Locally screen printed in Tofino, BC, our Artist tees will have you frequently grabbing for them with their charming graphics, relaxed fit, and vintage style.

Why We Won’t Screen Print Art on Synthetic Fibres  

If you identify as an eco-conscious soul wanting to be gentle towards the world around you, you’re probably aware of the ghastly environmental impacts fashion has year over year.

Chemically derived synthetic fibres such as acrylic, polyester, nylon, lyocell, and rayon for example can come with significant allergies, skin irritations, and body odour. Microfibers from these synthetic fibres make up 35% of the primary microplastics contaminating our sacred ocean. It’s also said that we are breathing in at least 13k-68k plastic microfibers per year from our clothes, carpets, and upholstery.

Being mindful to improve our environmental impacts at Merge, we’re committed to natural fibers, like the organic cotton fabric used for our Artist Tees to keep our oceans, ecosystems, and customers their utmost safest.   

Organic Cotton Vs Cotton

But friend, we must demystify the ideas around natural fibres and sustainability for you. Not all natural fibres are sustainable in the fashion industry.

Cotton crops are the most widespread crops outside of the food industry and are also the most chemically-intensive.  The environmental impacts from growing conventional cotton include 43 million tons of pesticide dust clouds yearly contaminating our rainwater, eroding topsoil, and declining density of marine invertebrates and fish. When we are exposed to pesticides in our environment we can experience headaches, nausea, and put ourselves at risk of chronic illnesses including cancer, reproductive damage and endocrine disruption.

And for fellow ocean admirers, one of the most heavy-hearted stories about the conventional cotton industry, is the draining of the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea, an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that was formerly the fourth largest lake in the world, had almost completely dried up in the 2010s because of devastating water usage in conventional cotton farming systems.

Coastal communities know that the ocean is our greatest resource, and we must do all that we can to support industries that are working towards preserving ocean health. Our Artist T’s are custom fit organic cotton t-shirts made in Canada designed on our pillars of ritual, memory, sustainability, and coastal connection.

Organic Cotton Benefits

Is organic cotton better? Organic farming practices in general are intentional, nurturing, and slow in ritual. They increase species richness and abundance by 30% on average compared to conventional monocrops. Conventional agriculture has been proven to result in a loss of biodiversity but organic agriculture generally increases it. 

Organic farms have been shown to have lower levels of pesticides in nearby water systems, less erosion, less leaching of nutrients and higher carbon storage.  Organic cotton is a rotation crop, meaning the soil will maintain its nutrients when the crops are rotated and the soil itself will better retain water so that crops can be rain-fed and risk less devastation from water usage.

When you’ve experienced the softness and durability of 100% organic cotton clothing, you’ll know how hard it is to grab for any other garment in your closet. But according to the Organic Exchange, organic cotton only accounts for 0.6% of all cotton grown in the world. 

The more we can bring awareness to textile industry waste, and encourage folks to support organic cotton practices, the more we have a chance at lowering levels of pesticides in our water, re-establishing biodiversity, and advocating for a more sustainable fashion industry. 

So, that’s it. Now you know why we specifically choose organic cotton fabric for our Artist Tees. We can be revolutionaries with our purchasing power. We can advocate for a healthier planet. And we can feel good in the softest tee around with thoughtful and intentional local art. Shop for yours here.  

Written by Robyn Jin for Merge. 

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