PO Box – Penguin Organics

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Little Voyageurs and Penguin Organics 0

We are thrilled to be featured at Little Voyageurs, the new on-line destination for modern parents who like and want to travel with their kids. It gathers all the info that is needed for easy, yummy, pretty and trendy family trips.

Little Voyageurs is created by two young French moms who love traveling and who decided they wouldn’t stop just because they now have children. We met them at Playtime New York this year and loved their vision and passion for traveling parents. Here is the interview by Charlotte Burgoyne from Little Voyageurs with our Founder, Yasemin Akcakaya. 

DISCOVER THE COOL PRINTS AND THE SMART DESIGN OF PENGUIN ORGANICS

May 31, 2016

Interview by Charlotte Burgoyne.

After twenty years as a marketing director for big corporations, Yasemin Akcakaya finally decided to make her childhood dream come true: opening a clothing business. Her choice was not too surprising, considering that she grew up in Turkey were her parents own an organically certified clothing factory! An inspiring trip to Tasmania helped her find the ‘soul’ of her brand, Penguin Organics. The travel suited design and the cool responsible prints of her baby clothing line attracted our attention. Keep reading to learn all about it.

Tell us the story behind Penguin Organics.

During a trip to Australia, I visited a town called Penguin – named for its large population of fluffy black and white flightless birds. I learned a lot about the penguins’ condition and how they are affected by climate change. To me, endangered animals are in many ways similar to babies – fragile and in need of us! I want to leave them a beautiful world. This visit boosted me to start my clothing business. When I got back home I started working with designers to come up with a smart line of apparel for little ones.

What is Penguin Organics concept?

We make clothes and accessories for babies from 100% organic cotton. I decided to focus on babies aged 0 to 18 months because I think it is more fun to try to come up with clothing for them and also because I could not find beautiful organic gift for my nephews! The need in market was appealing to me. I want to encourage people to be more conscious about climate issues and buy gentler products for babies. 

How is your brand different from other baby brands?

The cotton we use is from Turkey and it is one of the best organic cottons in the world. It is really really soft to the touch to cuddle baby’s skin and has no allergens. Our prints are also unique, as we focus on endangered species and nature related themes. We only use happy colors to brighten family’s lives. Our best sellers are the penguin and the bear patterns. Through our products, we also try to raise awareness among parents about the necessity of nature preservation. Hopefully they can pass the message on to their kids too.

At Little Voyageurs we absolutely love your romper – hyper convenient when moving around. Tell us about their specific design.

Our rompers have two functions that I believe make them travel suitable items. First, their front opening makes it easy and fast to change baby’s diaper on the move. Secondly, we added contrasting striped cuffs for the feet that you can keep fastened when your baby is little or to keep him warm and open when he grows. This way you can enjoy our rompers for a long time. Our playsuits, like all of our products are also ‘super-light’ and easy to wash which I believe is important when you travel with babies!

WHICH ONE WILL YOU CHOOSE? CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR SELECTION.

  • Penguin Organics

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Organic Cotton 0

Cotton is a natural, plant-based fiber. A cottonseed is planted in the soil, eventually growing and yielding a fluffy white protective case that surrounds the seed. This protective case is the cotton fiber that ends up in our clothing, towels, bed sheets, and more. Overall, cotton is found in 40% of our clothing. It is the second most common fiber behind polyester, which is used in 52% of our clothes. Among natural fibers, cotton is by far the most widely used, accounting for 90% of natural fibers in textiles. 

  • In 2014, the world produced 28.5 million tons of cotton. Even though the use of synthetic materials is expected to grow, cotton is still projected to be the second most commonly used fiber in 2030.  
  • Almost all of the world’s cotton, 99.3% of it to be exact, is grown chemically, through farming methods that rely on the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and/or genetically modified seeds.
  • Cotton is grown on 2.4% of the world’s cropland, yet it accounts for 10% of pesticide use and 25% of insecticide use globally.
  • In the developing world, cotton alone accounts for half of all insecticide use.
  • In the US, 90% of cotton crops receive nitrogen-based fertilizer, and cotton is the 4th largest pesticide-consuming crop, following corn, soybeans and potatoes.
  • This heavy chemical reliance implicates cotton in freshwater and ocean water pollution, harmful algae blooms, the loss of marine wildlife, and soil degradation.

 

Cotton is so widespread for good reason—it has many great characteristics that make it well suited for use in our clothing. It is soft, strong, comfortable, and absorbent. It looks goods, washes well, and retains color over time. How can we reconcile the things we love about cotton with its environmental and social impact?

The most conscious cotton option available at the moment is certified organic cotton. This means that the cotton is grown without synthetic chemical inputs- starting with seeds that are not genetically modified and then without using chemical pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers in the farming process. Instead, organic farmers rely on traditional farming methods that have been used for thousands of years to help plants grow, including mixed farming, crop rotation, no-till or conservation till farming. Additionally, organic farming practices are centered on promoting soil health, and healthy soil is able to retain water and sequester carbon at a much greater rate than unhealthy soil. In the process of all of this, cotton farmers aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals.

Compared with chemical cotton, on average, organic cotton uses less water, has a lower carbon footprint, uses significantly less energy, and doesn’t pollute water with synthetic chemicals. Although when it comes to water consumption, many factors bear on whether and how much water organic cotton really saves. And a lot of that depends on factors specific to the farm, including how much rain falls on the cotton crops, the health of the soil, and the farmers’ understanding of water management techniques. 

It’s important to note that organic cotton isn’t the end all solution to chemicals in your clothes. The dyeing and finishing processes used in the fashion industry relies heavily on toxic chemicals, including hazardous dyes and heavy metals, among others. [29],[30] It’s no use having an organic cotton t-shirt that’s been subjected to a chemical bath. For this reason, certifications, like the Global Organic Textile Standard provide an important way to ensure that the chemical processes your cotton has been exposed to after the farm are safe for your health.

Finally, we always recommend supporting companies that are transparent about the source of their cotton. If you are buying from a brand that doesn’t mention anything about where their cotton comes from, ask them!

What do you think? Can we wear our cotton and feel good about it too?

How much organic cotton is grown globally?

According to the 2011 Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Farm & Fiber Report, approximately 151,079 metric tons (MT) of organic cotton (693,900 bales) were grown on 324,577 hectares (802,047 acres) in 2010­-2011. Organic cotton now equals 0.7 percent of global cotton production.

Organic cotton was grown in 20 countries worldwide in 2010­-11, led by India, and including (in order of rank): Syria, China, Turkey, United States, Tanzania, Egypt, Mali, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Pakistan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Paraguay, Israel, Tajikistan, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Senegal. Approximately 219,000 farmers grew the fiber.

What is the value of the global organic cotton market?

According to a report by Textile Exchange 2010 Global Market Report on Sustainable Textiles, global sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products reached an estimated $5.16 billion in 2010. This reflects a 20 percent increase from the 2009 market. Companies reported significant growth in their organic cotton programs, and increased adoption of standards. Approximately 219,000 farmers grew the fiber.

How much organic cotton is grown in the United States?

U.S. organic cotton production continues to increase, encouraged by consumer and corporate demand, price premiums, and regulatory shifts that facilitate clear labeling for organic cotton products. According to an OTA survey of U.S. organic cotton production undertaken with funding from Cotton Incorporated, the number of acres planted with organic cotton in the U.S. increased 36 percent from 2009­-2010, while bales harvested were up nearly 24 percent. U.S. producers harvested 11,262 acres of organic cotton in 2010, representing 95 percent of planted acres, and yielding 13,279 bales.

While 2011 saw the largest number of acres planted since 1999, harvested acres and bales are expected to be down by 38 and 45 percent, respectively, due to a devastating drought in the southern Plains. In fact, the extremely dry conditions in Texas forced farmers there to abandon more than 65 percent of their planted crop in 2011. A modest acreage gain of two percent is forecast for 2012, bringing plantings of U.S. organic cotton to 16,406 acres. Another two percent net gain is in the five­-year forecast, bringing the total to 16,716 acres. Opportunity exists for significant expansion of U.S. organic acreage, most likely in nascent organic cotton-­growing regions such as North Carolina, which harvested its first crop of organic cotton in 2011.

How fast is the organic fiber market growing?

In 2011, organic fiber sales in the United States grew by 17.1 percent over the previous year, to reach $708 million, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey. The future looks promising, with organic fiber products appearing in more mainstream outlets, led by large and small U.S. textile retailers alike.

Why Penguin Organics have selected Turkish Organic cotton?

Organic cotton farming is moving up the organic farming agenda of many countries. Textile Exchange data shows that in 2012 Turkey ranks second in organic cotton production in the World. Across Turkey, the Aegean Region and the Southeast Anatolia Region are the leaders. Factors such as suitable climate and soil conditions, relatively low populations of disease vectors and pests, historically low use of chemicals, availability of a young population employable in organic farming and the high quality of cotton varieties grown, combine to support the Southeast Anatolia Region as it aims to scale up its organic cotton production volume. Environmentally friendly organic farming is a hallmark of the Southeast Anatolia Region, which is also known as the cradle of sustainable civilizations.

8 Good Reasons
1. Organic cotton growing regions are well established and cotton yields in Turkey are one of the highest in the world.
2. High quality long staple organic for fine textile production, as well as shorter staple options.
3. An expanding source of organic cotton from the Southeast of the country as part of a sustainable development initiative to improve livelihoods and living conditions (see our special feature on the GAP project).
4. Turkey is GMO-free (Turkish Biosafety Law).
5. Turkey is both a grower and manufacturer of organic cotton, offering proximity of raw material to textile processing.
6. Turkey offers the full range of textile manufacturing processes from organic cotton growing, to spinning, manufacturing, and garment making.
7. Turkish manufacturers have long specialized in materials innovation, design and fashion, (including denim), in additional to production and manufacturing.
8. The number of companies certified to organic and social responsibility standards is increasing. Currently, almost 300 are certified to the OE/Organic Content Standards and 400 facilities are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard.

 

 Source: Organic Trade Association

 

Penguin Organics at Playtime New York 0

Penguin Organics participated in Playtime New York-the premiere children's fashion trade show-featuring a beautiful selection of organic only collection in New York at the Metropolitan Pavilion from February 14-16. 

Cute Organic baby Clothes at Playtime NewY ork

 

The show was  an excellent opportunity to introduce our new designs, meet new retailers and share Valentine's Day chocolate with the visitors!

 

Adorable Organic Baby Clothes at Children Fashion show Playtime New York 

We thank everyone visiting our Booth and welcome all our new retailers that we met during the show. Some of our new retailers include: Brambler Boutique in Pittsburgh, PA (opening soon!); Baby Crossing in Morristown in NJ; Charmed for Baby in Brooklyn, NY or Clothes Pony in Fort Collins, CO. 

Cute Baby Clothes at Playtime New York

Penguin Organics with EveryDayFamily at ABC Kids Expo 0

We had a great time at ABC Kids Expo this year. We were thrilled to talk to EveryDayFamily's Shiloh Johnson about our beautifully designed, soft and adorable organic baby clothes. 

EveryDayFamily is an established online community resource, home to over 3 million members, where parents can share stories, thoughts, advice, and experiences as well as seek guidance as they move through the family journey.

Excerpt from EveryDayFamily: 

EverydayFamily’s mom on the street, Shiloh Johnson, got up close and personal at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo with Penguin Organics to provide you with the need to know info on their incredibly soft and high quality organic cotton rompers! Watch to get the insider’s scoop: 

As a celebration of our video that came out this month, we have extended our ABC Kids Expo promotion to our new retailers. Contact us at info@penguinorganics.com or check out our Wholesale page to learn on how to become a Penguin Organics Retailer.  

  • Penguin Organics

Our Design Inspiration: (Polar) Bear 0

Penguin Organics brings modern design to children's fashion in the purest fabrics such as organic cotton. We also bring original designs that express our love of nature. Every year we select animals impacted by the environmental changes.
One of our best selling designs this year is (Polar) Bear. Polar bears were added to the list of threatened species-the decline of Arctic sea ice is the greatest threat to the bears.

Penguin Organics Design Inspiration: Polar Bear
According to the National Geographic: "Polar bears live in the Arctic and hunt seals and other fatty marine mammals from sea ice. They also travel, mate, and sometimes give birth on the ice. But sea ice is melting as the planet warms, and it is predicted to continue to do so for several more decades." 
Explore our Bears collection of rompers, footies, blankets and more

Penguin Organics Loves Patagonia for using 100% Organic Cotton 0

At Penguin Organics, we made a commitment for using only organic cotton: 
Penguin Organics Promise to use Eco Friendly Organic cotton
Whether it's the soft organic cotton romper of our leaves collection or the organic cotton blanket of our butterfly collection, or the fun organic cotton bib from our hippo collection, each piece feels so wonderful against the skin.
As an eco-friendly brand, we have a great admiration for Patagonia who also have committed using organic cotton since 1996 and have done an amazing job to increase the awareness of the dangers of pesticide use and synthetic fertilizers in growing conventional cotton. 
Here is some information from Patagonia on their use of organic cotton: "The quality of organic cotton is equal to or better than conventionally grown cotton, yet organically grown methods support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, improve the quality of soil and often use less water. Growing organically takes more time, requires more knowledge and skill, and, for now, costs more. But it’s worth it." Find out more from Patagonia on organic cotton.