Pesticides. No thanks.

Pesticides. No thanks.

There are lots of reasons for avoiding pesticides. Our own health and the health of our children is cited by many Little Green Radical fans. But for me there has always been another reason, that motivated me to say our brand would always only use only organic cotton: the health of the farmers.

Cotton is one of the most intensely sprayed crops grown.The fact that it’s not a food seems to change perceptions of what’s permissible. I’ve seen cotton farmers with containers of pesticides on their back walking the fields spraying crops for hours. I’ve seen the little shacks that sell lead arsenic and other chemicals that Agatha Christie might have used in a Miss Marple plot. I’ve seen the fields devoid of birds and their song.

In the 1960s and 70s much of the world decided that if we wanted to increase agricultural production pesticides were the answer. It moved from small holders using crop rotation with food for their own family to larger land holdings employing many workers and producing just one crop (mono-agriculture) for cash. Pesticides were used largely without restraint. When I visited an organic project in Egypt they told me that one year under President Nasser 63 million tonnes of chemicals were sprayed across vast swathes of Egypt from light aircraft.

Of course, for a time it seemed to work but then initial gains in crop yield started to dissipate as the chemicals became less effective and the mono-agriculture impacted on soil fertility. And the high cost of pesticides soon altered the financial equation for farmers.

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, written in 1962, laid bare the real consequences of this approach for the environment.

Done properly organic agriculture is a joy to behold. Good bugs and traps are used to catch the bad bugs. Natural fertlisers and manure are used and sensible crop rotation keeps nutrients in the soil. Farmers are normally organised in co-operatives so they support each other.

Organic farming is not the easy option. It requires careful planning and hard work, and farmers still lead a precarious existence but few who convert to organic consider returning to chemical based agriculture. More farmers would convert to organic but they need to be able to sell their organic cotton as organic rather than back into the conventional market, where they get a lower price. So all that is needed is for more farmers to convert is for more of us to choose organic.

Nick - Little Green Radicals Founder


2 comments


  • Elise

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! We are so pleased that you like the snowsuit and that it will fit for a long time, that’s what we aim to do! Being organic, Fairtrade and eco-friendly is very important to us and we are so pleased to hear there are like-minded people out there! I have passed your lovely comment on to the team who are thrilled to hear you are happy with your order and our ethos. We hope your Grandson stays super snuggly this winter (and next!) in our snowsuit. Happy New Year!

    Elise at Little Green Radicals :)


  • Anne Sanders

    I recently ordered a snowsuit for my Grandson which is just perfect and enough room for it to fit until next winter he will be 2 in March.
    I love your ethos and have read your organic approach above. This means everything to me and to my daughter who is the most eco person I know and never buys things new (apart from food of course!)
    Always buys clothes at charity shops etc but this time she let me off the ‘new’ snowsuit’ having seen it and love it, reading the labels that really impressed her and hearing from me about your organic cotton approach. They live on the edge of Dartmoor where winters can be very cold so this snowsuit will be just perfect for my Grandson. Just thank you for you beautiful organic products :)


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