Jennifer Jampala is the founder of a new Sustainable Home Hub listed business, Prinka. An online retailer of organic and ethically made bedding, Prinka bedding is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Jennifer is passionate about a clean cotton production line, one which cares for people and planet. Choosing organic cotton over traditional cotton sources can have a massively positive impact on the environment and produces a high quality product. Launched January of 2018, Jennifer is currently a stay at home mum taking care of her 2 young daughters. She was a lawyer prior to having children and was disillusioned by her job. “I was approaching a stage in my life where I wanted to do something on the side for myself, whilst taking care of my kids. I wanted to find something where I could combine my passion for interior design as well as creating a business for good”. The perfect choice was a homewares business that embraces sustainability and the environment, and ensures the products are ethically made. This all led to the development of Prinka.
Why is GOTS certified organic cotton important?
The aim of organic cotton production is to use methods and inputs that are a lot more eco-friendly than the production of conventional cotton, explains Jennifer. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), provides a global standard for textile manufacturers that ensures the entire textile supply chain, from seed to the end product, have been created socially and environmentally responsibly.
• No hazardous synthetic pesticides are used
• No genetically modified seeds are used
• No toxic dyes are used
• To grow cotton organically, farmers fertilize with natural materials that are easy on the environment.
At the start of 2017, Jennifer was inspired to start the business when it came to her attention how “dirty” the cotton production process was. “I had no idea” she says. “I had taken it for granted because we use so much cotton in our everyday lives. It was evident that I was not the only one wanting to reduce the environmental impact we were leaving on our planet” she remembers. Jennifer started trying to find manufacturers who were GOTS certified. It was really important to her to have this certification because it was the golden stamp of approval. “I could trust my source” she says. After finding a manufacturer with these credentials, she went about creating her online store and then launched with pre-orders.
“We’re still in our infancy, but we’re starting add additional designs to our collection and hopefully various home décor products in the future” explains Jennifer. She loved the idea of starting Prinka because it showed people that you do have to compromise on quality or style in order to live cleaner. Our homes could look just as beautiful and be just as luxurious, whilst treading more gently on the earth.
Like many of you, sustainability is really important to Jennifer and her team at Prinka. “It’s the main premise behind our brand” she says. They only use certified organic cotton in the products. Conventional cotton production is unsustainable. It severely deteriorates soil quality through heavy use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Jennifer explains that the aim of organic cotton production is to use methods and inputs which are eco-friendly. All chemical inputs must meet requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. Soil is rotated so it remains healthy. This leads to greater amounts of organic matter in the soil which helps retain water. Biodiversity of seeds and wildlife are also protected, and very importantly, so is the livelihood of cotton farmers.
Jennifer’s tips for having a more sustainable home:
- I would recommend trying to use organic products as much as possible
- Look for products that are GOTS certified
- In Australia there are no requirement to have any certifications when calling a product “organic”. You just have to be able to substantiate the claim. That’s why when you see the GOTS certification you can be confident the product was made through sustainable processes.
Prinka has so far had a really positive response! “Customers tell us they love the feel of our sateen sheets, and love that it’s organic and ethically made” says Jennifer. When not busy with her children and her new business, Jennifer loves to practice yoga and tries to to meditate as well. “I also love keeping fit by doing boxing a few times a week. I’ve found it’s really important to take time out and take care of yourself. Its so easy to get consumed by the 100’s of things we have to do everyday to run a business and take care of kids” she stresses.
Prinka currently stocks bed sheet sets with additional colours coming soon. “Our sheets are a luxurious 365 thread count made with a sateen weave, all made from single ply, long staple cotton. They’re incredibly soft and made from high quality cotton” explains Jennifer. “Buying organic cotton products is really important because conventional cotton production is unsustainable. It severely deteriorates soil quality through heavy use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Not only this, the run off of pesticides and fertilisers contaminates rivers, lakes and wet lands. Pesticides that are sprayed onto crops can also be blown by winds into nearby areas, threatening wildlife” says Jennifer. 29 million tons of cotton is produced every year. This cotton is responsible for 16% of global insecticides released into our environment. This negative impact makes it difficult to create long term sustainability, not to mention, causes severe sickness and disease amongst those who work in the industry.
Just making the small change to GOTS certified organic cotton can make an important difference to the environment and those who work with cotton.