What is really organic cotton and why does it matter?

By Xinna Huang, Organicline Baby Clothing

Clothing is an essential part of everyone’s daily life, sadly, it is also one of the most polluting industries in the world. Among all the different types of fabrics for clothing, for thousands years, cotton has been the most commonly used natural fabrics due to its lightness, softness and breathability, especially when it comes to baby and young children.

However, heavy toxic chemicals are used at every stage of cotton production, starting from farming, all the way to textile processing and manufacturing. Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crops in the world. Many of these toxic pesticides can’t be completely removed because the chemical treatments started as early as soil fertilization and cotton seeding stages.

Now imagine wrapping your precious little baby with clothes made from these “chemical bathed” materials.

The toxins used during the cotton and fabric production are directly harmful for farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems. Many of us experienced the harmful effects of non-organic cottons and fabrics in our daily lives: skin irritation, rashes and even headaches and dizziness can be caused by the chemicals residue trapped in the threads. When it comes to baby and young children, the impact and consequence can become even more serious.

Conventionally growing cotton also consumes far more water than most plants - 2700 litres of water is used to make a single cotton T-shirt. Your favorite pair of blue jeans? It takes more than 7000 litres of water to make it.

By contrast, organic cotton is grown by using ecological farming processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of artificial elements such as pesticides and other chemicals that cause adverse effects. Synthetic toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers are prohibited as well as genetically engineered seeds. In addition, water usage is also reduced significantly, less than 10% water is used by organic cotton made clothes due to ecosystem of organic farming.

According to a research report published by Textile Exchange, organic cotton has the potential for environmental savings in several areas: it’s 46% less harmful to global warming, 70% less acidification of land and water, the potential for soil erosion drops 26%, surface and groundwater use falls 91% and demand for energy could go down by as much as 62%.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the most respected and highest textile processing standard for organic fibers. Both ecological and social criteria are included in its assessment and supported by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

"The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer." -Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

And that is why, at Organicline, we choose to only use GOTS certified organic cotton to make our products. As parents ourselves, not only do we want to protect our little one’s delicate skin from harmful chemicals, we also want to leave our children a sustainable world and we invite you to join us in this organic journey.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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