Make Compost Not War! – T-shirts available, plus ‘Our Allotment’ for free download…

This week Spiralseed are delighted to announce the relaunch of our exclusive T-shirt range, starting with our most popular designs, ‘Make Compost Not War!’ and the ‘Permaculture Mandala’ from Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide. More details about the shirts further down, but to celebrate their much demanded re-appearance I thought I’d share the publication from which one of these illustrations originated.

The ‘Make Compost Not War!’ drawing was originally created as a cover illustration for one of my very first publications. ‘Our Allotment’ was originally published in 1989, and was a 16 page A5 sized booklet of drawings for children. Drawn mostly for fun with my at that time 3 year old daughter Chloe in mind, it was intended partly as an educational tool, presenting positive imagery of  ‘alternative’ lifestyles by presenting the adventures of a ‘punk’ family growing vegan organic food on an allotment.

Details in the drawings, including the T shirts worn by the characters, give some indication of my musical tastes at the time, with anarcho-punk bands such as Chumbawamba, Conflict, The Electro Hippies, The Ex, Antisect and so on figuring prominently, as well as the causes supported in our household such as the Anti-Aparthied movement, opposition to Clause 29 (a piece of legislation from the Thatcher Government that was intended to ban ‘the promotion of homosexuality’ in schools), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), anti-nuclear power, animal liberation, veganism and so on. Most of these were based on actual T shirts that I owned, and fittingly, many were printed by Sunrise Screenprint Workshop, with whom Spiralseed still work closely to this day!

As well as Chloe’s favourite ‘Rainbow’ comic, there’s plenty of interesting literature that reflected the reading matter likely to be found in our home, including classics from ‘alternative’ publishers Thorsons such as Kenneth Dalziel O’Brien’s ‘Veganic Gardening’ and Gertrud Frank’s ‘Companion Planting’, a copy of ‘Lib Ed‘ magazine, ‘New Leaves’, the journal of the Movement for Compassionate Living edited by the late Kathleen Jannaway, and the first edition of the short-lived but excellent ‘Crisis’ comic. The latter featured ‘Third World War’, a strip by Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra that “concerns a near-future where corporations have grown so powerful that they can conscript soldiers to assist them in clearing the native populations of south and central America from regions necessary for their economic stranglehold over Western consumerism”, and to this day has not been reprinted. And if you squint hard enough, the bookshelf in the background includes books by the likes of Emma Goldman, William Morris, Alan Moore and Peter Kropotkin…

You can download Our Allotment here or by clicking the image below, hopefully folks will enjoy this little period piece, an important early chapter in the history of Spiralseed, and maybe you or own children might enjoy printing it out and colouring it in despite the dated references!

Anyway, back to the T shirts…

It’s taken us a while to find a product that met our ethical and environmental requirements as well as being of the quality and specifications that we were after. However thanks to the research of our partners at the above mentioned Sunrise Screenprint Workshop we’ve sourced these amazing Salvage™ T-shirts, created from 100% salvaged materials, consisting of shredded waste cuttings from organic cotton clothing blended with recycled plastic bottles.

Salvage™ shirts are manufactured from waste product using 60% pre-consumer recycled organically grown cotton and 40% post-consumer recycled polyester. The fibres are blended into fine yarn to produce 100% recycled clothing. The shirts are then screen-printed by hand in UK exclusively for Spiralseed, using long lasting, high quality water-based inks, that are better for the environment than solvent or formaldehyde based inks.

Salvage™ products have the Global Recycle Standard Mark, and use certified organically produced cotton and certified Fair Wear Production ensuring decent local pay and working conditions.

These shirts will be on sale from our stall at the International Permaculture Convergence, or else you can order them directly from our online store with free UK postage at

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