Why Choose Organic?
Why is organic cotton better than conventionally grown cotton?
- No pestides are used on organic cotton crops
- It's non-toxic for your children, you and your home
- It's pure and benign for sensitive or allergy-prone skin
- It uses traditional farming methods, to work in harmony with nature
- It's safer for the cotton farmers and their workers
- No use of synthetic fertilisers, which are made from petrochemicals
- It doesn't pollute and contaminate surrounding regions' air, ground and water supplies
Conventional versus organic cotton
Cotton is one of the largest agricultural crops in the world. Globally, cotton alone accounts for approximately 3% of all agricultural land but conventional cotton farming is responsible for using a hugely disproportionate amount (about 25%) of the world's pesticides. Increased awareness of the benefits of organic cotton farming and the increased demand for it, is helping to mitigate the devastating effects of conventional cotton production, on human health and the environment.
By making the choice to buy organic, rather than non-organic cotton (regardless of whether you're buying clothes, toys or any other cotton products), you're helping to improve conditions and eliminate health hazards for farmers, workers and their local communities, particularly those in developing or poverty-striken regions.
The impact of conventional cotton farming
It's indisputable that conventional cotton production methods are incredibly damaging, not only to the environment and wildlife, but also to the cotton farmers, their workers and widespread surrounding areas and communities. The high levels of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and various other toxic substances that are used cause toxic contamination of water, soil and air. With this in mind, the term 100% pure cotton, when referring to most cotton that isn't organically grown, is something of a contradiction of terms.
Many of the harmful substances that are commonly used are known or suspected carcinogens, but health and safety regulations in developing countries are far from being on a parallel with European standards. Consequently, many lives are tragically lost annually from pesticide poisoning, mainly in developing countries, where protective clothing or equipment for the workers tends to be prohibitively expensive and/or simply not unwearable in hot climates. The statistics are higher still of surviving victims, whose serious health problems are attributed to the hazards they're exposed to, through conventional cotton farming methods.
The impact on human health isn't limited to those who actually work with those non-organic crops. Neighbouring regions become heavily polluted and in some areas of intense conventional cotton farming, the impact on human health is immense.
Children too, in these regions, are amongst the casualties of the effects caused by such toxic chemicals. There is a wealth of information on the Internet documenting the scientific facts regarding this ecologically irresponsible method of farming.
Organic cotton farming is more labour-intensive than conventional cotton and therefore provides increased employment opportunities for local workers. The many health hazards that workers and the surrounding communities face from conventional cotton production are eliminated when working with cotton that's grown organically.
Conventional cotton farming practices costs lives
Ultimately, the human cost of conventional cotton agriculture is something that simply can't be ignored and, as consumers, we've the ability to make a difference by continuing the increased demand for products made from organically grown cotton fibres.