Organic Cotton for the Eco-newbie

Is it just me who has no idea what cotton is let alone organic cotton?

Here’s the basic facts to mull over…

  • It’s a flowering plant (imagine candy floss on branches!) mainly found in the tropics and subtropics  and in those countries it’sWP_20160215_003 4 big big business. Maybe it’s just me but in the UK we just don’t notice.
  • It’s claim to fame include being hypo-allergenic, soft, super absorbent and breathable.
  • BUT cotton’s got itself a really bad name in terms of it’s thirst for fertiliser, need for pesticides, chemical heavy manufacturing process and most importantly horrific human exploitation. It’s safe to say cotton has very (very) bad history.

But all is not equal in the world of cotton…cotton can be harvested another way…did someone say organic!!

  • Organic Cotton is natural, renewable and biodegradable – all the things that make an eco Mummy smile!
  • The organic version avoids all those nasty chemicals which is great for the workers, the environment and the end wearer. Buying Fairtrade ensures the workers get a fair deal. Show your support at Cottonedon– a great website for all your cotton questions.
  • BUT (there’s always a but!) just because something says it’s organic cotton is doesn’t mean it’s 100% organic and may be combined with non organic stuff or have met some nasty chemicals along its way from the field to your wardrobe. You need to look out for either the GOTS or the Soil Association symbol to ensure the whole process has been organic.

Overall, cotton has enormous eco potential but as with everything in life you need to check your sources.

Sources:

https://www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone/plant-profiles/cotton
http://www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic/organictextiles/organiccotton
http://www.cottons.com.au/info/about/whycotton.php

 

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