Organic Cotton & Why We Should Use It
High quality, organic cotton is what we use in our clothing here at Violet & Hawthorn. We want to feel good both as consumers and creators when choosing what clothing and home goods to buy, and what better fabric to use than organic cotton. We all know that cotton is soft, cozy and breathable on our skin but what are all of the benefits of using this fabric?
Organic Cotton is sustainable meaning it uses our natural resources - water, land and energy - more efficiently. It is grown using materials and methods that have a low impact on our environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture and prohibit the use of synthetic toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic cotton is biodegradable and recyclable so we can have peace of mind that it can be reused and returned back to the earth. Though the United States has made major improvements and long strides to becoming more efficient with our organic farming, the world’s largest producer is from India. 7% of global cotton production is certified organic but 70% of organic cotton is actually created in India. Their production has helped reduce our ecological footprint immensely.
Cotton is not a water-intensive crop. The Soil Association found that organic cotton can be grown using 91% less than it’s non-organic counterpart. In 64% of the United States, organic cotton does not need irrigation. Rainfall alone meets cotton’s requirements. Over the past forty years the U.S. cotton yields have increased 50% and yet our water consumption has decreased by 38%. Drought and heat tolerant, it seems the cotton plant is the more obvious choice of fiber to use for our future.
Organic cotton production does not use toxins or pesticides. To turn the raw fiber into organic cotton fabric, textile workers remove the seeds and debris from the cotton, begin spinning and then weave. Most textiles contain toxins that are absorbed through the skin during this process or are used during farming that proceed to bleed out onto our fields, environment and our waterways. Growing organic cotton helps protect our workers, customers, soil, groundwater and animal life from chemical contamination.
A lot of the demand for organic cotton comes from manufacturers and brands with environmental and social responsibility goals that are pulling them to be responsible stewards. They are acting in response to consumers who are seeking a sustainable and chemical free fabric, like us. I don’t know about you guys but nowadays when I go for an errand run I am becoming more and more aware that every purchase I make has an impact. I can feel the weight because I know that in every choice I make, there are millions of people out there making the same exact choice. Collective choices make the biggest impact on our future.