It's great to see so many millions of Americans reject the nasty pesticides and chemicals in our foods. But what about our clothes?
Pesticides from regular cotton have been known to show up in mother's breast milk as well as have been linked as the main source of cancer in thousands of American farmers each year. If these pesticides can get into our blood stream, than how is it different than if we were to ingest them in our food. It's not. Organic cotton is critical to our health and that of our planet.
Here are 7 ways that organic cotton is better for all of us.
1. Organic cotton has less pesticides
Conventional cotton accounts for only 3% of the world's farmland but as much as 25% of the world's pesticides and insecticides. That's nasty. The cotton industry gets away with it because we don't think these toxins can harm us if we don't ingest them. False!
Meanwhile, Organic cotton must be pesticide free for 3 years before it can be certified organic.
2. Organic cotton uses less water
Not only does organic cotton pollute our waterways 98% less than conventional cotton, organic cotton also uses less water period. This is because organic cotton is a rotation crop meaning in order to protect the soil (see above) farmers rotate organic cotton rather than plant it year after year. Rotational crops help the soil maintain its nutrients which allows the soil to better absorb and hold water. After 2 crop rotations, organic cotton will need less water than conventional cotton.
3. Organic cotton is higher quality
Conventional cotton growers use harvesting machines to harvest the cotton. These machines often mix together the seeds and oil of the cotton, producing an impure crop that is then cleaned with harsh toxic chemicals that and dyes (some which contain heavy metals) to give it the shiny white color we have come to expect. Organic cotton on the other hand is often still handpicked. In addition, even when it is machine harvested, organic cotton farmers must replace traditional toxic dyes and bleaches with mild natural detergents. Besides being healthier for the consumer, the natural detergents are also much better for the cotton as the harsher dyes often weaken the cotton fibers leading to tearing, pulling and stretching of the fiber.
4. Convention cotton uses more land
Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton farmers are required to farm their fields in a responsible manner. Top soil must be preserved and other methods must be implemented to conserve the soil. Meanwhile there is no such stipulations for conventional cotton farmers. Worse, the traditional methods ravage the earth because of all the pesticides and force farmers to consistently expand their land in search of more fertile fields.
5. When you buy Organic Cotton, it won't come with flame retardant.
Flame retardant is a known ingredient that has been known to be mixed in with conventional cotton shirts. Enough said.
6. Organic cotton is non-allergenic
Have a bad case of the allergies? It actually might not be allergies at all. 1/8 Americans mistake sneezing, wheezing and coughing for allergies, when really they are allergic to the pesticides in their clothes!
7. Organic Cotton Protects our farmers
As many as 10,000 U.S. farmers die tragically (and needlessly) each year from cancer related to pesticides from... you betcha, conventional cotton.
Moral of the Story: Organic cotton is better for you, better for the environment. You can do your part in protecting our earth by switching to organic.