Conventional cotton is the most used clothing fabric in the world. The clothes you wear, the sheets you sleep on, and even some of the food you may eat have been made with cotton. If you love clothes as well as eco conscious products, you must know how to balance your environmental concern with your fashion addiction. Here are some eco fashion tips to help you decide which type of cotton to choose.
Why Should I Wear Organic Cotton?
Contrary to what one might think, the culture of traditional cotton is one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries.
The Organic Consumers Association has stated, “Cotton uses more than 25% of all the insecticides in the world and 12% of all the pesticides” and that, for only 2.5 % of cultivated lands in the world (source : WHO ). Insecticides used on cotton can also harm wildlife.
Theses traces of chemicals remain in the end product and can have major health consequences like cancer. Not to mention, the cotton industry is the third highest consumer of irrigation water after rice and wheat. These are just some of the reasons to make the switch to organic cotton!Cotton makes up 50% of the world’s fiber needs, but the majority of it is grown with toxic chemicals. Flickr user : lucianvenutian
Organic Cotton is Different
The organic market (naturals fibers not grown with fertilizers, pesticides or any harmful chemicals) is rapidly growing, and it’s no surprise that organic cotton is most popular in the fashion industry.
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton is from non-genetically modified plants and is grown free of pesticides or fertilizers Some methods include beneficial insect releases and improved weeding machinery that help reduce the environmental damage of cotton crops. In warmer growing regions, organic growers shut off water early, and apply certified materials to promote cotton boll opening and leaf dropping, readying the fibers for harvest.
In the US, both conventional and organic cotton are mostly machine-picked; in some developing countries, cotton is still harvested by hand. Organic cotton is much safer for those who pick it. Workers aren’t exposed to breathing or ingesting toxic chemicals.An average of 70 field workers are dying every day as the result of pesticides and insecticides application. Flickr user : jankie
Organic Cotton Certification
Like other organic products, organic cotton must also be certified according pre-determined regulations. In the United States, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the organic certification process based on standards set in the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). Even if the rules for certification take significant time and effort for farmers, the result is a truly sustainable product.
It might cost less to manufacture and buy conventional cotton, but it is better for the land, the farm workers and your own well-being to choose organic whenever possible.
Thus, you can be environmentally conscious and still fashionable.
Stayed tuned to find out what companies are making the switch to organic cotton !