Why choose organic cotton?
Organic cotton is a popular ecological material. Cotton is being used for years, clothing made of cotton feels comfortable, it is breathable and dries quickly. That is why so many clothes are made of cotton. But what exactly is organic cotton? And why is it important to choose organic cotton clothing? We are happy to tell you more about it.
What is organic cotton?
Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Instead, organic methods are used. For example, other insects are used to prevent harmful insect populations. In addition, the soil is not depleted, because crop cultivation is done so that the soil retains the important nutrients. Also, less water is used in the production of organic cotton.
But there are more differences between organic cotton and conventional cotton. For example, the seeds that are used for organic cotton are natural GMO free seeds, for a lot of common cotton GMO seeds are used. In addition, people wait for the moment that the cotton plants lose their leaves. For "normal" cotton, the plant is often killed with poison to speed up the process. Read more about it at aboutorganiccotton.org.
Because no unnatural fertilizers are used, organic cotton grows more slowly. That is why you pay more for organic cotton, just like you do for organic strawberries. ;)
Why is it important to choose organic cotton?
It is important to choose for clothes made of organic cotton because the environmental impact of the production of common cotton is very high.
About 25 percent of the pesticides used around the world are used for cotton. Some of these chemicals are labelled as the most toxic in the world. They cause health problems such as birth defects, reproductive disorders and weaker immune systems. In many countries cotton is still picked by hand, you can imagine that the toxic pesticides can therefore easily affect the health of the employees on the plantation. The pesticides also end up in (ground) water and the chemicals deplete the soil which makes that more and more unnatural fertilizers are needed.
The chemical pesticides that are normally used for the production of cotton not only kill the insects that eat the plants, which already has an adverse effect on the entire eco-system, because insects are at the very bottom of the food pyramid. But also other insects, including the so important bees. Bees are indispensable for the pollination of cotton plants but also all other crops that grow. Read more at pbs.org.
But not only insects are killed by these pesticides. Birds also die in large numbers because of the heavy pesticides.
What is GOTS?
GOTS is an international certification of organic cotton that was established in 2002. The label guarantees that the production of the cotton takes place in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. The label originated as a collaboration of major players in organic cotton: Organic Trade Association, Japan Organic Coton Association, International Association of Natural Textile Industry and Soil Association (UK), JOCA (Japan), IVN Naturtextil (Germany) and Soil Association ( United Kingdom). The controls are carried out by independent control bodies. Read more on global-standard.org.
How to wash clothes of organic cotton?
Have you purchased an organic cotton garment? Good job! You can wash organic cotton the same as conventional cotton. Always look at the label in the garment for exact instructions. But in general, your cotton can best be washed at 30 degrees. Washing at a low temperature is also good for the environment! :)