Cotton is one of the most used textile fabrics in the world. From clothing to socks to blankets... it's all around us! Organically grown and manufactured cotton is becoming increasingly popular and we can see why! With cleaner production and low environmental impact, here are some of the benefits of going organic.
Organic Cotton certification requires safe working conditions, no child labor, and fair wages for workers. Production must protect water supplies and treat all waste water. Chlorine bleaches and chemicals, commonly used in traditional cotton textile processing, can cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. These chemicals are not allowed in organic processes. A common certification of Organic Cotton is GOTS. This certification aims to provide a universal standard for organic fabrics from credible labeling to responsible harvesting, packaging and distribution. The GOTS does not directly address the carbon footprint of a company/organization, however GOTS provides a continuous quality control and certification system from field to shelf. By far one of the best standards in the industry.
Studies have shown that pest control, designated toxic by the World Health Organization, are used in traditional cotton farming. Farmers’ exposure to these chemicals cause occupational illnesses and each year millions of cotton workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning. Instead of using harmful sprays to keep bugs away, some organic cotton farms hand pick weeds or introduce beneficial insects that eat pests. Even though these actions may seem more time consuming and less conventional, they result in a safer and healthier work environment.
USES LESS WATER
A single non-organic cotton t-shirt requires on average 700 gallons of water to produce. That’s about 22 bath tubs’ worth— for one t-shirt! Organic cotton uses much less water to produce, thanks to healthier soil and less water pollution from run-off. Most organic cotton farms are located in areas where crops are rainfed, where farmers do not need to rely heavily on local resources to water. Although this may limit crops geographically, it is makes up for a serviced irrigation system.
LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Growing organic cotton is a more holistic approach to farming that strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials that are of low impact to the environment. This includes physically removing weeds instead of spraying chemicals, using compost to maintain soil health, and rotating/planting cover crops between growing seasons to replenish soil and prevent erosion. This type of farming produces lower CO2 emissions and has far less environmental impact. Causing no soil, water or air pollution!
Without chemicals or dyes affecting our ecosystem, we are essentially saving our pollinators and plant-based food sources. Removing the food chain contamination caused by cotton by-products, usually found in traditional cotton farming, promotes biodiversity. Without upsetting our diverse ecosystem, our organisms can replenish and flourish. Certified organic cotton is produced/manufactured taking into account ecological aspects and protects our ecosystem.
With all these eco-conscious benefits it's hard to see why we shouldn't make the switch to certified organic cotton farming. Better for your body and the planet!
At SOL TERRA SHOP, it is important to us to convey the benefits of using natural and organic products and promote the availability of products that will create less of a carbon footprint. We offer many clothing and homeware options made with GOTS certified organic cotton. Check out our ORGANIC COTTON LINE for more details.