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Organic Cotton

Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton

Before we talk about the benefits of organic cotton, lets start by explaining the problems that conventional cotton production causes to the environment. Conventional cotton uses the second most pesticides of all crops grown world wide. Seven of the fifteen common pesticides used to grown conventional cotton consist of human carcinogens which means that they are toxic to people. Besides being unsafe for humans, the pollution caused by water runoff carrying the pesticides from the cotton fields into local water ways is another major problem with cotton that is not grown organically.

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Research shows that the vast amounts of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, soil additives and defoliants that are used to grow conventional non-organic cotton wreak havoc on soil, water and air around the globe. The majority of pesticides that are used in growing conventional cotton ends up seaping into the leaves, into the soil and into the water. This affects not just fish and our water supply, but also affects all forms of wildlife that need clean water but also affects people in many ways.

Organic CottonOrganic cotton is a far superior alternative to the pesticide laced conventional cotton. Thankfully more and more farmers around the world are now beginning to grow organic cotton without costly, harmful chemicals and pesticides. Organic cotton yield is high and the quality of the cotton that is grown organically is equal to or better than conventionally grown cotton. Organic growing methods support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, they also improve the quality of soil and often use less water than conventional cotton. Growing organically does take more time, requires more knowledge and skill, and costs a bit more, but in the long run it is worth it since it doesn't contain any hidden costs to our environment or ourselves.

What is Organic Cotton and How is it Used?

Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility by using crop rotation, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Methods such as beneficial insect releases, strip cutting of alfalfa and new weeding machinery also help to reduce the environmental impact of organic cotton crops. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming. All cotton sold as organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering how the cotton is grown. Third-party organizations certify that organic cotton farms use only these approved methods and do not spray toxic chemicals on their crops.

Conventional cotton production uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants. The good news is that the market for organic cotton apparel, bags and bedding is growing every year as people make the connection between conventional cotton growing, human health problems, and environmental damage.

Besides the environmental benefits that organic cotton provides, another benefit to the consumer is the softness and quality that only organic cotton can provide. Organic cotton is truly unmatched and one of the top reasons people choose organic cotton for their delicate baby's skin. The cotton that is grown in conventional ways is compromised and weakened by the chemicals that are used in growing, processing and dying of the cotton. All of these things break the fiber down and create a weaker, inferior cotton, which is why you get a softer, stronger, and better cotton using organic gowning methods.

Many apparel companies are now developing programs that either use 100 percent organically grown cotton, or blend small percentages of organic cotton with conventional cotton in their products. As a result of consumer interest, organic cotton fiber is used in everything from personal care items (sanitary products, make-up removal pads, cotton puffs and ear swabs), to home furnishings (towels, bathrobes, sheets, blankets, bedding), children's products (toys, diapers), clothes of all kinds and styles, and even stationery and note cards. Organic cottonseed is used for animal feed, and organic cottonseed oil is used in a variety of food products, including cookies and chips.

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Recycled Cotton vs. Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is a great choice, but recycled cotton is the best choice of all. Using recycled cotton helps reduce the harsh dyes, pesticides & herbicides of conventional cotton and the energy and water required for not only conventionally grown cotton, but also organically grown cotton. Recycling discarded cotton clothes and other cotton products also helps divert millions of tons of textile waste entering our landfills each year.

Recycled cotton is made from pre-consumer cotton clippings that otherwise would be dumped in landfills. recycled cotton is manufactured with no wet finishing or dying. There is no chemical or liquid of any kind used in the process. Another benefit of recycled cotton are the recent advances in manufacturing that have made the look and feel of recycled cotton almost identical to regular cotton.

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Products Made With Organic Cotton

  • Organic cotton clothes
  • Organic cotton linens
  • Organic cotton towels
  • Organic cotton baby products
  • Organic cotton bags
  • Organic cotton paper

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