Organic Clothing Equals Better Health
We’ve all heard about organic cotton. It seems it’s talked about everywhere. You can find it in the department stores and online. But what’s so important about choosing organic cotton? Can it really improve your health or at least not worsen it? And isn’t all cotton organic?
The answer to the first question is yes. Organic cotton really can help you have better health. The second question is more complex, though; all cotton is organic in that it comes from a plant. But the word organic here is really referring to the method by which it is grown, harvested, and manufactured. Cotton can only be called organic if it has been grown and processed without pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
The cotton industry uses the second largest amount of pesticide of any crop grown in the world. It uses 25% of all the pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides in the world. As heavily laden as cotton plants are, it’s a wonder anyone can still eat cottonseed oil or other cotton-based foodstuffs.
Clothing and bedding are two areas where using organic cotton can really help. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, if you have a new baby or are pregnant, if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions that are worsened by chemicals, you’ll want to switch to organic cotton. Think about this – your skin is sensitive and you are an adult. Now imagine a baby’s skin. It’s more porous and softer than an adult’s. That means harmful chemicals have an easier time leaching their way into a baby’s body.
No one wants to put a newborn down for sleep on a chemically treated crib sheet or wrap her in a chemically sprayed baby blanket. Since there’s no real scent left after the chemical process, consumers for years and years have assumed cotton is just a natural product of healthy plants. Wrong. The chemicals used in cotton production stay on the fabric long after it has been manufactured. You may not smell it, but it still has the capacity to be absorbed by your skin, and that goes double for baby and kids.
The process of organic cotton manufacturing is also healthier on the planet. Even though farmers of organic cotton have to work harder since they are not using chemicals that deter bugs and crop spoilers, the benefits are worth it. In addition to the positive impacts for the planet and the consumers who purchase these organic products, the farmers and their families also benefit. They don’t have to breathe chemicals and drink water that is polluted with run off from heaping doses of chemicals while they grow and harvest their crop.
So, if organic cotton really is best, why isn’t everyone using it? Good question. It all goes back to affordability. Cheap cotton is more affordable than organic cotton. Because large runs can be harvested and production is sped up by chemicals, it costs less to produce a traditional cotton t-shirt than an organic one. The dyes come in vats and contain chemicals. The clothes go in for a dip, they come out and hit the shelves.
However, organic cotton dyes are water based and have to be done in smaller batches, so it costs more and has to be done more slowly and more carefully. Many organic cotton manufacturers are not using fully automated mega-machines to speed their garments along the line. Many are hand cut, hand sewn, and individually packaged. Naturally, these products are more expensive. But as more mass-merchandisers start to carry organic cotton clothing, you will be able to find inexpensive selections and more variety.
Your health and the health of your family is directly affected by the products you have in your home. When products like clothing, towels and sheets come in contact with your skin, there’s even more reason to ensure that they are chemical free. Other health benefits of chemical free organic cotton include less asthma symptoms as fewer allergens are produced by organic cotton. Organic cotton sheets will also absorb moisture and allow for a cooler, dryer sleep, especially in hot months.
A switch to organic cotton will see great improvements in your health, and you’ll be doing the environment a favor as well. A recap of the benefits of organic cotton includes: less pesticides in the environment, a fashionable and sensible clothing choice, the fabric is chemical free, the material that touches your family’s skin is free of harmful toxin, farmers’ lives are improved by keeping them and their families away from dangerous chemicals, water quality improves, pesticide use drops, and organic clothing feels marvelous next to your skin.
There are so many reasons why organic cotton is a superb choice for you and your family. Start shopping online or in person for clothing that makes you feel great inside and out, and talk to anyone who will listen about the benefits of organic cotton over traditional cotton processing. You’ll be glad you did when sales of organic cotton go up and purchasing trends for chemically processed items go down. All it takes is one person to start a major change.