The Benefits of Organic Cotton Apparel
Global Implications of Cotton Production
Cotton is one of the world’s leading commodities. It represents approximately 50% of all fiber used in the textile industry. Cotton production can be associated with significant social, environmental, and economic impacts. Over-consumption of water, inappropriate use of toxic chemicals, and soil depletion are just a few issues facing cotton production. Despite its importance to the global economy, the future of cotton remains uncertain. Growing and sourcing sustainable cotton can help mitigate and reduce these risks while different sectors are identifying solutions.
"Cotton has approximately 300 pounds of carbon equivalent emissions per acre (excluding potential nitrous oxide emissions)"
Unfortunately, common cotton production methods have been determined as detrimental to the environment. In some cotton production, a wide variety of harmful agrochemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) are being used, large amounts of water are being consumed, and habitats are being converted for agricultural use. Poor wastewater management is affecting the neighboring communities with water that degrades their ecosystem and eliminates the safety of water for consumption. The degradation and erosion of soil are tiring out the land making it unfarmable.
The demand for cotton is not slowing down, and impactful changes can be made in the apparel industry. To be part of the change to accelerate a solution toward ethical fashion, we work with our manufacturers to source organic cotton for our fleece products. Other sustainable brands, specifically sustainable fashion brands, should also be making these efforts as choosing sustainable practices goes hand and hand with providing high-quality products. With alternatives widely available, there seems to be no excuse to continue to use these old and unsustainable practices.
What is Organic Cotton Clothing?
What does ‘Organic Clothing’ Mean?
For a product to be considered organic, it has to be grown with GMO-free seeds and incorporate methods that maintain soil quality, support biodiversity, and conserve water. When specifically talking about organic cotton clothing, you see conventional cotton production practices swapped for sustainable alternatives that yield the same if not better results.
Is Cotton Clothing Sustainable? Is Organic Cotton Better?
With the increasing demand of cotton, cotton growers have resorted to quicker and cheaper ways to accelerate production to keep up with the ever-growing demand. This includes harmful farming practices, specifically excessive pesticides. Using these harmful chemicals while growing conventional cotton can be traced to causing allergic reactions to people’s skin.
When looking for organic cotton, there are a few key differentiators one can use to identify organic cotton vs. conventional cotton. The first differentiator is the purity of the cotton fibers; organic cotton is always handpicked while conventional cotton can be machine picked. Handpicking preserves the purity of the fiber and makes sure there is no damage to the original fiber. Since the longer fibers have been preserved, the result of the organic cotton is much softer and more durable. When it comes to sustainability, GMO cotton seeds are used to resist bugs in the farming process. When the bugs become more resilient to pesticides, stronger pesticides are used, and the cycle continues. Certified organic cotton does not use GMO seeds and rotates from one soil to another in order to preserve the longevity of the environment around it. Since no pesticides are used in organic cotton, they do not contain harmful toxins that could cause allergens. When looking at both safe and sustainable clothing, the difference between conventional cotton and organic cotton is too big to ignore.
Why choose Organic Cotton?
A More Sustainable Supply Chain
As it is becoming overwhelmingly apparent that the apparel industry’s carbon footprint, being one of the largest on the planet, is extremely detrimental, the world cannot keep encouraging these practices. As mentioned, there are many distinct differences between conventional and organic cotton. It begs the question of why wouldn’t someone use organic cotton instead of conventional cotton? If the community as a whole refuses to accept the malpractice that some companies are encouraging, our world will enormously change for the better.
A Softer Cotton
The longer fibers preserved in organic cotton are what make the feel of it so much softer to touch. This comes from handpicking versus machine picking methods. Organic cotton is always hand-picked and therefore keeps the long fibers that make the fabric more soft and durable. The texture of organic cotton is more comfortable. Our fleece collection is made up of entirely organic cotton so our customers can enjoy the cream of the crop while also knowing the methods used are in line with sustainability and ethical fashion. It gives consumers a chance to experience hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants, and sweatshorts in their best light.