Well, Organic Cotton is produced without using any harmful methods or nasty pesticides or non-GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Therefore it has a low impact on our environment while growing. This then has to be certified to organic agricultural standards. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So What? For me, that's a pretty normal reply I get back when I’m trying to explain why Organic Cotton is so important and better than your bog standard average cotton. Why am I mentioning Organic Cotton?
When September comes around, Soil Association have jumped on the month with ‘Organic September’ which is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of Organic products, brands, producers, and farmers who bring all this loveliness to us in the UK. Now, from the outset, this looks like its only focused on food, which it probably does seem that way, but since I own an ethical shop I thought it would be a good idea to showcase some cool organic fashion & products from mi apparel. Why? well, it's not just what you eat that's important its what you put upon your skin which matters to & not forgetting where it came from!
You're probably wondering about that Organic Cotton isn’t you and why it's so important. Here I’ll give you a brief insight to get you thinking about one particular fabric you are currently wearing.
Here are 5 facts about Cotton:
- Cotton is a sustainable fabric
- Cotton is zero waste; everything gets used! The cotton bolls, seeds & stalks
- Cotton is versatile and can be used in different industry’s from textile to food (my business cards are made from recycled cotton t-shirts!)
- Cotton is hypoallergenic; so unlikely to cause an allergic reaction
- Cotton is 100% biodegradable and compostable
How amazing does cotton sound? pretty cool fiber huh! Well, no. Why? like most great things in life, there is a catch and this one isn’t a little one, its actually killing people. Let me introduce you to the world of conventional cotton or as it's known amongst the industry ‘The Worlds Dirtiest Crop’. You won't ever see that printed on a swing tag, will you?
Here are 5 new facts about Cotton:
- Cotton is thirsty; It can take more than 20,000 litres or 5000 gallons of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans.
- Cotton is being fed dangerous pesticides; 18% of worldwide pesticide and 25% of total insecticide. It is known that the chemicals can be passed into the bloodstream of the people wearing these conventional cotton clothes.
- Cotton is dangerous to farmers working the crops & those living in close proximity of the fields. Research has shown that farmers & people drinking from water supply near the farms are being poisoned by the heavy pesticide use which has resulted in cancers related illness and birth defects related to such chemicals.
- Cotton is a demanding trade & the farmers cannot keep up with the demand due to fast fashion & our throw away consumption culture. Therefore they are getting into debt with the rising cost of seeds & pesticides to try and maintain their crops and when not achieving the demand, it is known for a farmer to commit suicide in the middle of their farm due to this pressure.
- Cotton is not a transparent fabric sourcing supply chain when it comes to the workers. There has been a long history for forced child labor being used for picking cotton with many companies not knowing their cotton has come from farms using slave labour processes.
Let me introduce you to the world of conventional cotton or as it's known amongst the industry ‘The Worlds Dirtiest Crop’. You wont ever see that printed on a swing tag.
OK so it’s not all doom and gloom because it is changing, we just need more of us to be aware of why it needs to change and what it needs to change into.
Here are 5 facts about Organic Cotton:
- Organic Cotton is certified. You bet your ass it is!! Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTs) for more info read here.
- Organic Cotton is a benefit for producers and the environment in developing countries by avoiding the harsh, toxic, dangerous pesticides and chemicals
- Organic Cotton is not as thirsty as conventional cotton. Yes, it uses less! Companies have also been exploring Rainfed Organic Cotton.
- Organic Cotton is helping climate change positively by using less energy; therefore its healthy organic soils are storing more carbon and removing more co2 from the atmosphere
- Organic Cotton is helping farmers live a better life. When not using toxic chemicals on their cotton crops they are able to be diverse in their farming by nurturing other crops such as food which can bring in another stream of revenue and feed their family safely.
Can you see why we now need to build a huge awareness and following for Organic Cotton? After all its one of the most highly produced fibers in the world consumed by the textile industry today.
Here at mi apparel, we stock passionate brands who care where their fabrics & products come from, how it's been made, who made them. Shop the Organic Look today and if you are ever unsure about certifications on products check out the mi glossary.
What do you think? did you learn something new today…
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