How is organic cotton different to conventional cotton?
Organic cotton is grown and manufactured without toxic chemicals. The toxic chemicals present in conventional cotton off gas into our homes and the air we breathe. They are also absorbed into our skin while we sleep. A whole list of the most commonly used chemicals in fabric production are linked to human health problems e.g. skin conditions, cancers, reproductive disorders, and more. Given that we spend one third of our lives under the covers, the decision to go organic should be an easy one. In addition to the health problems associated with conventional cotton for you and your family, farmers health can be adversely affected and ground water and soil is polluted. Here are some of the facts:
Facts about conventional cotton
- It takes approx one small cup of chemicals to make one T-shirt. There can be up to 4 lbs of chemicals in the average sofa.
- It is one of the most sprayed crops in the world. Cotton can be sprayed with chemicals up to 30 to 40 times a season.
- The chemical residue causes water and soil pollution. This contaminates the water we drink and the soil our food is grown in.
- Many of the pesticides and chemicals used in the manufacturing of cotton are petroleum based and therefore stay in the fabric even after washing.
- The health of farmers is compromised by this unnecessary cocktail of chemicals.
- It has been suggested that worldwide conventional cotton production uses about 3% of the farmland but consumes about 25% of the chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
- According to the WHO it is estimated that 20,000 deaths occur in developing countries each year from pesticide poisoning and many of these are attributed to conventional cotton production.
Facts about natural organic cotton
- Certified organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers.
- Better health for the consumer especially babies – A baby’s skin is five times thinner than an adult therefore making it more absorbent.
- It is free from formaldehyde finishes and toxic dyes.
- Organic cotton is soft, hard wearing, durable, extremely breathable and still remains beautifully soft even after repeated washes.
- Organic cotton is grown in fields where the use of pesticides has been discontinued for at least 3 years.