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Turtle Bags talk being more sustainable and introduce us to their amazing eco-friendly bags

What impact has charging for plastic bags had on the environment? Has there been a noticeable difference?

Number of single-use bags handed out dropped to 500m in first six months since charge, compared with 7bn the previous year

What countries at the moment are in the most drastic need of changing their practices to support the environment?

Many countries are ahead of us in the plastic bag challenge.

What is the relevance of the name “Turtle Bags”?

In the early 2000s when I was working as an ecologist I read about the effect of plastic moving as tiny particles in the food chain out at sea.  I was horrified these small particles of plastic move from the tiny invertebrates through the fishes as they are eaten in turn.  I wanted to share the story since the issue seemed invisible. What happens with turtles isn’t unique but the story is one that is easily understood, so the turtle became the charismatic symbol of the brand.  Leatherback turtles come to the UK in the summer months looking for jellyfish in the warmer waters.  They eat hundreds of jellyfish every day.  These leatherback turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and most visiting turtles will have plastic bags in their intestine.  This story is told with every bag.

How does your organic cotton get from field to store?
We work with our partners in India to ensure that the whole of the supply chain is organic for our cotton bags.  The cotton starts off its life in rural Madhya Pradesh.  The cotton is grown by an inspiring collective of 2000 organic farmers. When they switched to organic growing 20 years ago it meant a positive change in their fortunes, stabilising the soil, reducing demand of water and raising their yields and hence income.  Now all along the production chain, workers no longer have physical contact with harmful pesticides and herbicides.

What positive impact does the production of Turtle Bags have on the community in India?
Through demanding organic cotton we improve the livelihood for the cotton farmers. Not only do the farmers have raised incomes from working with organic farms but the collective invests in the local school raising standards for local education. The whole supply chain is monitored through the external auditor GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). Their auditors ensured fair practices and sound environmental practices through cotton processing, spinning, dying and production. 

What are your favourite eco-friendly brands?
I am a big fan of Gudrun Sjoden and the Burren Perfumery.

What charities or causes would you encourage people to support who want to improve their positive impact on the world?
Extinction Rebellion needs every bit of support we can give them; they are the only organisation which has the courage to face the reality of our world.
What materials or ingredients should consumers avoid to help their impact on the world?
Production of palm oil destroys rainforests and biodiversity. 
What are the future goals and aims for the company?
Sustainable textiles are at the heart of what we do.  We seek to continue in this vein but to shout about the issues a little more.  We were part of the UN Environment Programme talks in Nairobi earlier this year and the talks on textiles and its impact on our environment have heightened resolve to bring the issues to the public.

As you know, this blog is called Alt Mummy. What would be your one ‘alternative’ bit of advice to any new mum?
Tune into parent clothes swaps, or if there aren’t any around arrange one. It's a really sociable and planet friendly way of dressing the family.

You can shop Turtle Bags here https://www.turtlebags.co.uk/ as well as finding out more about the ethos of the brand. Want to win a gorgeous sustainable beach bag?! Head over to the Altmummy Instagram page and enter before the 16/01/20.

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