We use organic cotton in our collection which is more expensive. So what is organic cotton and why should you buy it?
No Toxic Chemicals!
Conventional cotton is grown and treated with many cancer causing chemicals including frightening ones like cyanide[i], formaldehyde and sulfuric acid[ii]. Organic crops do not pollute natural water courses, thereby helping to protect aquatic and wildlife, promoting biodiversity and precious ecosystems. Chemical free crops also mean that local communities have clean drinking water without toxic run-off poisoning them. Conventional cotton growers have high rates of cancer and death by suicide which has decimated large communities.
“A single drop of the pesticide aldicarb, absorbed through the skin can kill an adult.”[iii]
Safe for Children
Clothing by its very nature is in close contact with the skin which allows for easy absorption of harmful chemicals. Young children are at a greater risk of exposure to these chemicals due to their size, behaviour and metabolism[iv] Exposure to these have been have been linked to a whole range of medical conditions from eczema and asthma to ADHD[v]
Lower Environmental Impact
Organic soil is very healthy and fertile helping to store carbon while also acting like a sponge soaking up flood water, in both ways directly helping to combat climate change. Most organic cotton is rain-fed reducing the strain on water supplies especially in countries with high drought levels. It uses 88% less water and has 62% less energy use. Organic cotton also lasts longer[vi] than the standard meaning it can be kept in use for longer.
Organic cotton farming is subject to higher ethical standards than conventional cotton. They have to follow very strict guidelines which are regularly checked and scrutinized[vii]. Standard cotton growing is rife with child and forced labour in places such as Uzbekistan[viii]. As they don’t grow organic cotton it is less likely such practices are used in organic growing areas. As the workers and farmers are not exposed to the nasty chemicals used in standard cotton growing they have better health and wellbeing where others suffer from acute pesticide poising often requiring hospitalisation.
Farmers have greater food security for themselves and their families as organic cotton is grown alongside food crops allowing and can therefore provide extra income. Conventional cotton is grown as a mono-crop where nothing else can be grown with it and any nearby food sources are contaminated with high levels of toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
Farmers have to buy genetically modified seeds from large corporations every year as they own the rights to them[ix]. As organic cotton never uses GM seeds farmers can save the seeds for the following year without extra cost or getting into debt. They can control the quality and type of seed they want to grow giving them better yields.
How do I know if it’s organic?
Certified organic cotton should have a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Content Standard) or Soil Association logos either on the garment labelling, on the retailers website or they will have a copy of the certification if you ask them.
I hope this helps you to make an informed decision about buying organic clothing.