Margit cottons on to benefits of organic clothing

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Organic clothing designer Margit Selg and daughter Valentina… “More people are becoming aware that adults and children can be exposed to so much chemicals and toxins in clothes.”

MARGIT Selg has always been conscious about eating organically and using “clean” products on her skin, but it wasn’t until having a child when she was confronted by the chemicals in clothes.

“The more I read about the benefits of organic cotton, the more mindful I became of what I bought for myself too and the impact it has not only on us personally, but also the environment,” she says.

So Margit, 34, of Red Hill, who has 15-years’ experience as a photographer, took her love for fashion, her mindfulness for the environment and a suggestion made by a friend in Sydney and established the Organic Clothing Line.

But it didn’t happen overnight because photography was only a small part of the process.

“I did research for a long time and it has taken me many years,” she says.

Giving birth to her daughter Valentina in 2016 really pushed things along and Margit launched the Organic Clothing Line late that year.

“It took me a while because not only did I want to find the perfect material but also the right people to work with,” she says.

“It’s dedicated to Valentina and hopefully one day, if she’s interested, she can take over.”

Valentina, who is almost two, already has a present role in the small family business and Margit says she uses photos Valentina likes based on her reactions.

Estonian-born Margit had a career working as a photographer for one of the biggest fashion magazines in Estonia, “Buduaar”.

Living organically was also a huge part of her lifestyle growing up so when Canberra and Australia became her home she wanted to bring that with her here.

“I think slowly the whole world is going in the organic direction,” she says.

“More people are becoming aware that adults and children can be exposed to so much chemicals and toxins in clothes.”

Margit says regular cotton accounts for more than 25 per cent of the world’s insecticide use and 10 per cent of the pesticides, which are harmful for farmers, workers and consumers.

She says by buying organic cotton it lowers the carbon footprint, eliminates

chemical and pesticide processes and uses far less water than regular cotton.

But it’s about more than just supporting the environment for Margit, who says she’s doing a lot of good things in one.

The shirts are all Australian-made and $5 from each shirt goes to charity. For the adult men’s and women’s shirts, Margit decided to donate the money to the Pancare Foundation in memory of her mother-in-law, who died from pancreatic cancer six years ago. And the money from the children’s shirts goes to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation because, Margit says it’s the most common cancer for kids in Australia.

“Whenever I can, I like to give back to the community I love – and this is a great way to do that,” she says.

“I get to do something I’m passionate about, we have an opportunity to donate to some really amazing charities, and we also get to spread the message of the benefits of organic clothing.

“Organic cotton clothing will last you longer and it’s so comfortable, breathable, safe and clean.

“I would like to see more people look into organic clothing and see the good in it. And not just clothing but the whole organic lifestyle.

“I want to focus on the future and a better environment, which means more than just getting rid of plastic straws.”

Margit is hoping to expand the Organic Clothing Line from T-shirts to tote bags, underwear, hoodies and long-sleeve tops.

“I enjoy photography and love the Organic Clothing Line and where it’s heading,” she says.

“I enjoy making a difference and getting people aware.

“It’s a lot of fun. I can’t call it work because my job is my passion.”

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Danielle Nohra
Danielle Nohra is the assistant editor of "CityNews".

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