- Calgary CA-AB
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Founded in 2011, Saaf Slate is an independent clothing line based in Canada. Creating original graphic designs based on Hindi and Punjabi culture, founder Gurbhej Dhillon has had a passion for art since he was a child. Saaf Slate, meaning a clean slate, or a fresh start, represents Mr. Dhillon’s goal to create an apparel line that brings awareness to the global use of pesticides in cotton production. Using 100 percent organic, free-trade cotton, Saaf Slate strives to have a low carbon footprint. Traditional farming methods for growing cotton involve the use of a multitude of highly lethal chemicals. The use of pesticides in the native land of Saaf Slate founder Gurbhej Dhillon is particularly insidious. In 2001, 500 cotton farmers in the Warangal district of India died after using chemical sprays, including methyl parathion, cypermethrin, and endosulphan. In 2002, several organizations reported hundreds of deaths in the state of Andhra Pradesh due to exposure to pesticides. Each year, thousands of small-scale farmers are injured or killed from unregulated use of pesticides in India. After moving to Canada, Saaf Slate founder Gurbhej Dhillon realized the problem existed across the globe. While cotton production represents only a small percentage of the world’s farmable land, its consumption of pesticides amounts to nearly a quarter of the world's pesticide use. Offering an alternative to conventionally grown cotton garments, Saaf Slate creates original art designs that promote sustainable farming practices. Drawing on the language and design traditions of the Hindi and Punjabi cultures, Saaf Slate hopes to ensure that the 4,000-year-old tradition of cotton production in India survives the next millennium.