Did you know that common cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop? And that fashion is the second highest polluting industry in the world behind oil?
Though I’d call myself a conscious consumer, I’m still learning a lot about sustainable fashion. I recently learned that organic cotton farming lowers the ecological impact on the environment and that is something I wanted to discuss with everyone wanting to be a bit more eco-friendly. Organic cotton is sustainably grown cotton without the use of pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified seeds. Although, like I said, I’m still finding my way around sustainable fashion, I have found 5 reasons why all of us should invest in organic cotton. Plus I’d like to show you that sustainable fashion can be super stylish by talking about a brand I already spoke about here.
Cotton farming uses 25% of the world’s pesticides. By switching to organic cotton, 81% fewer agrochemicals and 49% less water are needed to farm organic cotton.
One of the things that you can do to promote a more eco-friendly lifestyle is investing in organic clothing. By choosing organic cotton you are doing your part to ensure that the global impact is a beneficial one.
But why is organic cotton different?
No GMO Seeds
By choosing organic cotton you give power to the farmers to grow their natural cotton seeds. Genetically modified seeds require extensive use of pesticides and also opens the door to plant radiation. Obviously, every organic clothing purchase represents a step in the right direction. Companies use modified seeds in 40% of worldwide textile production, giving it a wide spread, global reach. The use of conventional cotton has negative effects on the crops’ toxicity and allergenic properties.
No Pesticides or Insecticides
Avoiding synthetic pesticides means healthy farms, which means a cleaner environment. Pesticides decrease soil fertility, reduce biodiversity and produce high soil erosion and degradation. Furthermore, up to 72,000,000 of cotton workers suffer poisoning from pesticides each year! By choosing organic cotton, you are supporting healthier workers and farm communities.
Pesticide poisoning is a newly cause of 20,000 deaths in developing countries according to the World Health Organisation.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
Let’s combat climate change ! Organic cotton production uses less energy resources and is only grown in healthy, organic soil. It also helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60% ! It also needs 62% less energy and has 46% less global warming potential*.
Quality and Purity
Organic farming saves water. This follows from the previous point, but organic farmers make better use of water inputs, thanks to the implementation of crop rotation. Soils are also more resilient in drought conditions! When the cotton is being rain-fed, this saves precious water resources and makes artificial use of water obsolete.
Ethical Working Conditions
Finally, farmers earn higher pays by avoiding chemical costs. And fair prices mean better livelihoods! By using fair trade principles, organic cotton farmers are paid a fair salary for the produce, preventing them from being mistreated by the middlemen.
The organic cotton experts: People Tree
Known for using organic textiles, at People Tree they also give importance to safe and clean factory conditions. There is absolutely no child labour, products are handcrafted by adults who work by choice, workers receive a fair pay, they have regular working hours and they have dignified jobs that enable them to provide and supply for their families.
Organic cotton fabrics are better for your skin. According to the CDC, exposure to chemical residue in non-organic fabrics may cause skin irritation and dermatitis. High quality cotton means a long and durable lifespan. Finally in order to ensure you’re getting only the best organic cotton you have to look for the GOTS logo (Global Organic Textile Standard).
GOTS means three things: first of all, the certificating requires strict quality standards at every level of the supply chain. Second, GOTS certified means that between 95% and 100% percent of the fibres are all natural and organic. Third, non-GOTS organic products do not meet the same level of criteria.
The Tamsin jumpsuit I am wearing today is made from 95% GOTS organic cotton and 5% elastane. It was also made by Rajlakshmi. Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills is a pioneer in organic garment manufacturing in India which seeks to combine high quality tailoring with a fair deal for farmers and workers, whilst supporting local environmental and social projects.
Remember that every time you decide to spend your money on and superior organic cotton you are also choosing to support a healthy and green environment, safe working conditions, and a brighter future for the whole planet.
SO DO YOU LIKE THIS JUMPSUIT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!
I WAS WEARING
ASOS BAG (OLD)
ZARA BOOTS (OLD)
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Photography by Alexa Mitiner
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- Textile Exchange 2015.