The cotton industry and the effect on the environment and health
Cotton textile has grown in popularity in the apparel industry and a high demand in cotton means the use of chemicals and pesticides to speed up the harvest, sustain this demand and disinfect it. Cotton crops amount for 25% of the total use of pesticides, by far the largest responsible in devastating the environment, water supplies, the farmers health and our health. Let’s reflect on this when we wear our super kewl T-shirt that in fact requires the use of a 1/3rd of a pound in pesticides, without including the amount of chemicals used to bleach it or dye it. Pesticides used on cotton include devastating chemicals such as cyanide and are known to cause cancer. More than 220,000 people each year are reported to die because of the use of pesticides by the WHO (World Health Organization). When wearing regular cotton clothing, our skin comes in contact with those chemicals and for the weakest can create allergies and more devastating health concerns. This is especially true for babies who always bite their clothes and who, at the same time, ingest unhealthy substances.
Organic cotton clothing sales are increasing
This is why the recrudescence in the growth of organic cotton has seen a huge increase in the past few years as much as 20% from 2007 to 2008 globally (India, Turkey, Syrica, China, the USA). Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides, fertilizers and allows the soils to replenish and stay fertile and leave the water supplies free of chemicals. The organic cotton sales have increased drastically to reach $521 million in the USA in 2009 and the fashion industry is catching the train with big designers such as Victoria’s Secret, Esprit, Timberland or Levi Strauss offering a wide range of organic cotton clothing to their end consumers. The famous band U2 have also launched a brand EDUN, offering a wide range of organic cotton clothing that is not only environment and health-friendly but also looks great. With consumers becoming more aware of environmental and health issues, this is only the beginning of an industry that is steadily growing for the good of everyone.
Why organic cotton clothing is better?
Organic cotton clothing uses organic cotton which means that the cotton is free of chemicals much like any other organic products. Organic cotton clothing come in a wide range of products for men, women, children and babies alike and can be fashionable as well. Other organic cotton products include organic personal care products such as ear swabs, pads, make-up removal pads, diapers or organic house furnishing products like sheets, towels, bathrobes and more.
When going a shopping spree, we can now combine fashion and good deed by favoring organic clothing. However, shopping organic is also becoming a marketing tactic for companies who want to target environment and health conscious consumers so we need to make sure that the clothes we buy are indeed 100% organic. Reading the label of our picked item is a good start to see which material is used and know the origin of the product.