One of the most important natural fibres in the world, cotton, which comes from the cotton plant, is used by just about everyone on the planet in some way or another, and supports the livelihood of over 250 million people. Traditionally, cotton used to only be grown using organic methods, but, today, over 25% of the world’s insecticide usage is received by cotton crops, giving the majority of cotton out there some new health risks. However, as this knowledge has become more widespread, with the many benefits of organic cotton slowly being recognized, demand for organic cotton is now on the rise.
When chemicals are used on crops, residue from these usually remain, even once cotton has been turned into its final product, be it clothing, bedding, or even female sanitary products. These chemicals will then inevitably come into contact with the body, either by being inhaled or absorbed through the skin, causing irritation as well as a number of different allergies. This is even more alarming for babies and children, as their skin is much thinner and more porous than adult skin, which is why statistics show that children ingest 35% of their lifetime dose of carcinogenic pesticides before the age of five. The only way to avoid this is by ensuring that all cotton that comes into contact with your body is truly organic.
Softer, Stronger and More Durable
With the concept of fast fashion being so prevalent in recent years, a fabric’s strength and durability was not considered to be important. However, many people are now realizing the importance of purchasing quality rather than quantity, and this is where organic cotton comes in. Not only do many believe that it is far softer than conventional cotton, but organic cotton is also much stronger and more durable. While conventional cotton will begin to wear own after about ten washes, organic cotton can be washed over 20 times before any wear is noticeable, making it a much more worthwhile investment in the long run.
While the benefits of organic cotton to the consumer may be of primary interest to the majority of people out there, the environmental benefits cannot be ignored. From a reduction in environmental pollution to a boost in the quality of the land and water where the cotton is grown, to the conservation of biodiversity to the drastically improved health of the farmers and anyone else who directly works with the cotton, it would seem as though organic cotton is the way forward when it comes to the health of the planet.
Considered to be the most profitable non-food crop in the world, less than 1% of the cotton currently grown around the world is organic, which is why you are unlikely to find a wide range of organic cotton products out there. While the price of organic cotton is also significantly higher than conventional cotton, this is only going to decrease once global demand for the organic variety increases, making it important for you to take a stand against this, and choose organic cotton whenever possible.