Conventional cotton is not a safe choice any more, it is not ‘natural’ any more.
Until about 50 years ago, cotton-growing mainly involved sustainable techniques: it did not permanently deplete resources or create a health hazard. Today, however, the pesticides used on ‘conventional’ cotton increasingly threaten people, wildlife and the environment. Most pesticides were originally developed as toxic nerve agents during WWII and it is no wonder they have been linked to many forms of cancers.
Conventionally-grown cotton occupies only 3% of the world’s farmland, but uses 25% of the world’s chemical pesticides.
In fact, the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency)
considers 7 of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton as “likely” or “known” human carcinogens.
Conventional cotton is also a major user of toxic herbicides, fungicides and defoliants. During processing, it is subjected to chlorine bleach, heavy metal dyes and formaldehyde resins (the hidden hazard of ‘easy care treatments’). The bleach is almost worse than pesticides, causing myriad health problems and vast environmental damage.
Additionally, genetically modified cotton now accounts for 75% of cotton grown conventionally!
How is organic cotton better?
Organic cotton represents a return to safe and sustainable practices. It is grown with natural fertilizers and is free from toxic chemicals.
Mechanical cultivation and botanical or biological means are used to control pests and weeds.
Manual farming and organic practices have a lower carbon footprint as the entire process consumes less fuel and energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases.
Not from genetically modified cottonseed.
Eco-friendly processing that does not compromise workers’ health and helps reduce water and electric use and toxic runoff, e.g. non-chlorine bleach, silicon-free softeners and low impact, azo-free dyes.
People with allergies and chemical sensitivity and children, especially benefit from organic cotton products, as conventional cotton may retain harmful toxic residues. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, organic cotton will just feel better against your skin.
Why should I buy organic clothing, bedding, toys and other accessories for myself and my family?
Environmental changes affect each one of us. Organic farming could be a powerful ally in the race against global warming, not only as it consumes fewer resources to start, it is actually a powerful natural tool for carbon sequestering.
Conversely, on a small planet, we are all affected to some extent by the production and application of pesticides and poisons! You are closer than you think to the farms, chemical factories and waste treatment facilities that handle toxic chemicals used on your tee-shirt. By spending on organic products, you are using your consumer power wisely and adding your voice to the environmental movement.
On a purely personal level, you and members of your family will most definitely feel better wearing pure, organic cotton against your skin for sure you, but first of all, all of you will be healthier.