As more and more consumers are moving towards making sustainable lifestyle choices, it is important to understand the benefits these choices can bring to you and your family. We uncover some of the wonderful benefits of choosing organic cotton clothing.
What exactly is organic cotton?
As you may know, cotton is a crop that is primarily grown to make comfortable clothing and manchester. Cotton is a breathable fabric used in the manufacturing of clothing and is a favourite among many people, especially during the summer months. However, most of us who wear cotton clothes don’t know the environmental impact that conventional cotton growing has on this planet. Conventional cotton crops use nearly 25% of insecticides in the world. The chemicals used to grow cotton not only destroy the soil it is grown in, but can also penetrate our skin when we wear them and cause irritation.
Cotton that is primarily grown by non-genetically modified seeds and without using pesticides is classified as organic cotton. Clothing made from organic cotton is what we call organic clothing. Organic cotton clothing is growing in popularity, with more people than ever interested in buying organic clothing due to the benefits it brings to them and our environment.
How to find out if the clothing is organic or not?
Most of the brands that sell organic clothing use a form of textile certification standard which ensures that the cotton is organic. Without any associated certification, clothing we buy may or may not be organic. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is the major certifier for organic clothing. Other certifiers are usually country specific and provide additional scrutiny in making sure the clothing is organic.
Who does it benefit?
Though organic clothing is considered very beneficial for the well being of farmers and the soil, it also benefits the people who wear it. For people with sensitive, delicate skin and those with skin allergies such as eczema, it can provide an even greater benefit.
Without much funded research, word of mouth from mums has helped in promoting organic cotton clothes for babies suffering from eczema. Cotton is a versatile material which lets the skin breathe when worn. Organic baby clothing has become popular in recent years as new and expectant mothers try to choose the safest options for their newborn baby’s delicate skin.
How does it benefit the farmers and soil?
Growing organic cotton has become a viable option for many farmers, due to the adverse effects of growing genetically modified cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or genetic modification.
Instead of these toxic chemicals, farmers use crop rotation, beneficial insects, cover crops, compost and weed by hand or machine in order to build the quality of the soil and enhance the local biodiversity.
In order to convert the conventional cotton grown land into an organic cotton land, it takes approximately three years. However, the long-term benefits outweigh the inconvenience that farmers have to endure in the short term.
Fair Working Conditions
GOTS certification also means fair working conditions for workers employed within the factories. In order for a manufacturer to obtain GOTS certification, they have to make sure no child labour is involved in the manufacturing process and workers should be treated with fair wages and required leave.
The fashion industry has contributed to the pollution of major rivers and landfills in many developing nations. When you see a T-shirt being sold for $2 in developed nations, you can be sure someone is being exploited in the supply chain. Though we are a long way from reforming it, we can try to make a positive change by switching over to organic clothing and contribute in a small way by preserving this wonderful planet for our future generations.
This post has been kindly contributed by Guest Blogger Punitha, who is a busy mum of two from Melbourne. With her love for nature, infused with her passion for design, she created her own clothing line NIOVI, specialising in organic children’s clothing. You can find Niovi Organics on Facebook and Instagram.