Since 1989 when, thanks to PAN UK, I discovered what is happening in conventional cotton agriculture: 350,000 deaths a year from accidental pesticide poisoning and 1,000,000 hospitalisations, micro-biological death, desertification, bio-diversity collapse, long term contamination of the fresh water supply and sea with pesticides, I have been trying to use my fashion brand to help the developing world farmers any way I can.
Problems with pesticides and herbicides are not just a developing world issue: we have huge problems on our own doorsteps in the UK and in the EU. Pesticides aren’t just killing the birds and the bees; they are also Endocrine disruptors, which affect your hormones. Endocrine disruption is costing the EU £31billion every year in health care. They are killing us as well.
Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) is the only UK charity focused solely on tackling the problems caused by pesticides, both at home and overseas, and promoting safe and sustainable alternatives to pesticides in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens.
PAN UK has been crucial to on-going research into the negative impact of pesticides in farming, how they affect the human health, wildlife and the environment. Everybody benefits from their work, from Greenpeace to farmers in Africa.
They have pioneered organic and sustainable cotton for more than 20 years. They have been training thousands of African smallholder cotton farmers in profitable, non-chemical cotton farming techniques, which has brought in greater income, improved health and greater food security for farm families.
Their research is brilliant, their work on the ground is amazing, but they need financial support to continue.
I am making these T-shirts to help raise money for them and raise awareness about the crucial issues that affect all of our futures.
By buying the T-shirts supporting PAN UK, you are supporting their incredible work, saving lives and our planet for future generations; If it wasn’t for them, the bees would probably be dead already.
SAVE THE BEES
Ten years ago, PAN UK was one of the first to ring alarm bells about neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been implicated in the catastrophic declines in populations of bees and other pollinators. PAN UK continues to be at the forefront of campaigns to persuade Governments and regulators to take action to protect our insect pollinators from pesticides. Recently Nick Mole, Policy Officer for PAN UK, spotted the exemption that Syngenta were trying to slip under the door, that would have meant that the recent EU 2-year moratorium on neo-nicotinoid use would have been meaningless in the UK. Great public outcry ensued and Syngenta withdrew their application. Write to your MP, saying you want the two-year ban on neonicontinoid to become permanent or you won’t vote for him at the next election. Help support the invaluable work PAN UK are doing in this area.
SAVE LIFE ON EARTH
Extinction is happening. Pesticides and herbicides are designed to kill, and they are contributing to it. They are persistent in soil and water, not biodegradable and they carry on killing. They are in our food, they are in our bread, our beer, our honey, (unless it is organic) they are killing the bees, the birds and killing the farmers, contaminating our water supplies and killing the seas and killing us as well.
At a recent APPG meeting at the House of Commons, it was revealed that Roundup, the worlds’ no.1 herbicide, used domestically, sprayed all over our streets and pavements, parks, playgrounds and council estates and countryside, is responsible for 32 different diseases including birth defects and kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Roundup is a key component of GM agriculture, planned for introduction into the UK next year, the countryside is going to be plastered in it, killing our prime agricultural soil, addicting us forever to costly agrichemical imports and costing the health service extra millions. Help PAN UK get them banned.
Choose life was my first ever slogan t-shirt, made in 1983 and inspired by a Buddhist exhibition. To choose life is central to the Buddhist philosophy. Life is the greatest miracle, only to be found on this planet. Save it.
Pesticides and Herbicides are designed to kill. Protecting biodiversity, PAN UK works to tackle the harmful effects of pesticides, which most recently has involved working with Ethiopian partners to assess the effects of pesticides on wetland ecosystems in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, which is a major migratory flyway for over 400 species of birds. Help PAN UK carry on this valuable work.
CLEAN UP OR DIE
PAN UK has pioneered organic and sustainable cotton for more than 20 years, having campaigned for retailers to clean up their supply chains, as well as training thousands of African smallholder cotton farmers in profitable, non-chemical cotton farming techniques. By farming organically, farmers can increase their profits by 50% and means there is no need for them to buy costly chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or expensive seeds. The introduction of GMOs in India has increased farmers’ seed costs by 8000%. Organic farming allows farmers to feed, shelter and clothe their families, educate their children and afford healthcare, which is not the case with conventional farming. There have been 250,000 farmer suicides due to pesticide debt in the Vidharba cotton-growing region of India, alone.
Buy this t-shirt and you will be supporting PAN UK in helping save the farmers and their families, and giving them a sustainable future.
Katharine Hamnett x PAN UK T-shirts available now at katharinehamnett.com.