It is the season for comfortable summer clothes now that warmer days are here!
Wait, we would like to start over…
It is the season for sunglasses and sustainable fashion now that summer is here! And if you are looking to add new clothes to your wardrobe but want to shop sustainably, consider items like Terra Thread’s Fairtrade organic cotton backpacks and bags to stay away from the materials harmful to the environment.
Cotton is one of the most extensively used fabrics in the fashion industry, but it is also in the most ecologically detrimental lot. Cotton cultivation relies on harmful chemicals and pesticides which contaminate waterways and have a major impact on the health of farmers. It is a cash crop that is heavily dependent on pesticides.
Environmental Justice Foundation’s ‘The deadly chemicals in cotton’ reports that cotton farming accounts for 16% of insecticides and 10% of pesticides globally. As a result, it impacts the entire ecosystem. What adds further to the damage is the abuse of water utilization. Water is one important ingredient that is not included on the label of a cotton shirt. Get this— one typical cotton t-shirt requires over 2,500 gallons of water which is equivalent to drinking-water supplies for two to three years!
This brings us to why switching to organic cotton over conventional cotton is a condensed matter that one cannot afford to take lightly.
Organic agricultural methods operate in tandem with nature, which sustains ecological balance and biodiversity. It is a superior substitute for cotton since it is grown and certified according to organic agricultural standards. But according to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton accounts for only 0.93% of worldwide cotton production. The frail percentage is only a testimony of how little we are doing to sustain our dying ecosystems.
Organic production relies on natural processes rather than artificial inputs. This contributes to soil sustainability, ecosystems, and even human mortality rates. Most notably, organic cotton growing prohibits the use of hazardous pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic farming removes CO2 from the environment while maintaining soil health and nutritional content. It also provides the farmers with economic diversity and food security.
Textile manufacturing consumes 93 billion cubic meters of water per year, accounting for 4% of the worldwide freshwater withdrawal. And cotton production accounts for 69% of the total water footprint, with one kilogram of cotton requiring anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 liters of water based on the Soil Association’s ‘Thirsty for fashion' report. Organic cotton saves up to 91% of the water needed to grow the crops, 46% fewer greenhouse gases, and gives farmers the benefit of not relying on buying expensive genetically modified seeds. You can save up to 268 days of clean drinking water with Terra Thread’s eco-friendly duffel bag for travel!
Organic cotton poses no threat to the limited water resources because 80% of organic cotton is rainfed and not irrigated. Choosing organic cotton over conventional cotton is preserving precious water. This means, every time you decide to purchase organic cotton, you are saving water in thousands of liters.
Be Kind to Your Skin
The clothes you wear can influence your physical and emotional health and well-being. As a result, it is critical to consider the weather and the kind of apparel that is most beneficial to the skin. Organic cotton protects your skin from harmful pollutants. It does not contain poisonous toxic dyes that are easily absorbable by the skin. Organic clothing makes a significant difference in the way the body functions. It is softer than regular cotton cloth and has no negative impacts on health. Because organic cotton is produced without chemicals, it causes fewer allergies and is kinder to the skin. Relative to conventional cotton, organic cotton also has a pleasant odor and does not create any respiratory issues, because the natural fibers are light and breathable.
Protect our Wildlife
Our planet’s wildlife are the ones who suffer when humans parachute into their natural habitats and destroy them. Organic farming allows the wild animals to dwell contentedly in their safe space by retaining the natural habitat areas. Even when it comes to organic farm-raised animals, they consume clean, chemical-free pasture, which helps them stay naturally healthy and disease-free. Healthy organic animals are productive animals, which is a bonus for organic farmers. Given how organic farming interweaves multiple chains of the ecosystem, it can also be said that organic cotton is more than fabric; it is food.
Protects Farmers & Their Livelihoods
Where you choose to invest your dollars can impact the livelihood of the farmers. Organic farmers produce other crops in addition to cotton due to the need for crop rotation and an additional source of income. Your decision to purchase organic cotton helps farmer families to put food on the table.
But aside from food and income, organic farming also safeguards the workers from pesticide poisoning. Pesticide poisoning affects an estimated 77 million cotton workers each year, causing poisoning as well as other issues such as infertility and birth abnormalities.
Organic farming is certified, fairly traded, and controlled. The chemical and dye-free alternatives and fair working conditions allow the farmers to work in a safe environment where pesticide poisoning is not a threat to their precious lives.
Making a Difference with Organic Cotton
Small acts can make a significant difference- whether it is eliminating trash, conserving energy, or being a sustainable fashion shopper. More often than not, we tend to condense the term organic to the food we consume. But because the clothes we wear are frequently grown in the same fields as the veggies and fruits, it is equally important to care about organic clothing. The benefits of organic cotton products like Terra Thread’s eco-friendly backpacks for college are distinct; you can see, feel, and smell the difference.
As consumers, we wield a great deal of influence on water, energy, and ecosystem conservation. Put your money where counts-- your purchasing power can be the evidence of the marriage between fashion and sustainability.
You can make the wrongs of the cotton industry right with the choice of material you decide to purchase. Take a moment to observe the kind of material you buy the next time you go shopping. Do you prefer conventional fabric tops or organic cotton tops? Is it not true that if cotton is the fabric of our existence, we deserve to buy organic? It is a simple decision.
Written by Bonomi Murumi