What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is a clean, sustainable alternative to conventional cotton. No toxic chemicals are used in processing and manufacturing of organic cotton products.
It is produced by farms where no synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers have been used for at least three years.
Instead of using agricultural pesticides, beneficial organisms such as parasites and natural enemies (such as ladybirds) are used for insect management.
Creating a pure, natural environment is an important choice for a growing number of parents. Choosing 100% organic cotton is the first step toward natural living, both for our sensitive babies, as well as our environment. Pesticide and chemically-treated clothing, nappies and bedding block the natural balance of the skin by trapping heat and preventing it from “breathing” which can cause rashes and eczema on sensitive skin. Organic cotton is pure and natural and allows the skin to breathe. Many people consider conventional (non-organic) cotton to be one of the world’s purest fibres, but in actual fact it is one of the world’s most heavily sprayed crops and is believed to cause up to 20,000 deaths and 3 million poisonings every year in developing countries. (Figures from the World Health Organisation- WHO).
Benefit of organics:
Organic agriculture protects the health of people and the planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and which are associated with health consequences from asthma to cancer. Because organic agriculture doesn’t use toxic chemicals and pesticides, choosing to buy organic products is one way we can help to care for ourselves and our children by leaving behind a clean healthy planet.
The benefits of choosing organic cotton are many:-
• A healthier planet – no pesticides and hazardous chemicals are used so better for the community and for our precious planet.
• Better for farmers and farming communities- farmers and their families are not exposed to the toxic chemicals used in conventional farming which can cause death and poisonings, thus saving lives.
• Better for the consumer – as much as 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies thus by using organic cotton we avoid all the unnecessary chemicals which can cause rashes, asthma, allergies etc
• Conventional Cotton represents only 2.4% of all cultivated land but uses 24% of all insecticides and 11% of all pesticides used in the world each year.
• Chlorine bleach and formaldehyde are used for whitening and finishing in conventional cotton. These are known cancer causing agents.
• Conventional cotton uses 84 million pounds of pesticides and 2 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizers every year.
The term organic describes the products of agriculture that use no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic methods consider the whole eco system and use natural techniques to assist plant growth, repel pests and protect and encourage wildlife habitats. “Working with, not against,” nature is the principle behind organic farming. Grown without pesticides and spun without chemicals, organic farmers rely on organic fertilizers, manual crop rotation and integrated pest management. Fields are naturally fertilized, pest-eating insects are used to naturally control crop damage, and weeds are removed with hoes and tractors, as well as by hand. Farms earn the organic label by using soil that has been free of synthetic pesticides for at least three consecutive years.
“Organic Certification” means that a product has been farmed in accordance with the strict and uniform requirements that have been verified by an independent body. Some of these bodies include Control Union (formerly known as SKAL), ECOCERT, OCIA- Organic Crop Improvement Association and IMO.
Certification includes inspections in farm fields as well as the production process facilities, recording of detailed data and periodic testing of soils and water in order to guarantee that producers and handlers are fulfilling the necessary requirements.
Fair trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. From the International Federation for Alternative Trade. (IFAT)
Conventional agricultural methods can cause environmental damage through the introduction of man made chemicals which contaminate our water supplies.The elimination of polluting chemicals and dyes by organic farmers work to prevent contamination, help build up our soils and protect and conserve water supplies.