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Organic Cotton: What Does it Mean for Cotton to be Organic?

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Going organic is an important choice for many people. Often, people purposefully choose organic foods and beverages in order to maintain a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. But why limit yourself to just those options? Choosing organic cotton fabrics for your clothing and furnishings is an incredible way to create a sustainable home. There are a few ways that organic cotton differs from standard cotton.

organic cotton fields

No Chemicals

The main thing that sets organic cotton apart from standard cotton is the lack of chemicals. With organic cotton, harsh chemicals are not used in the production, cultivation or processing of the raw cotton. This includes fertilizers and pesticides used when growing cotton plants, as well as dyes and treatments for processed fabrics.

Low Impact on Environment

Not using chemicals means that organic cotton has a lower impact on the environment. Often, the harsh chemicals typically used in the growing and producing of cotton fabric are incredibly bad for the environment. The raw chemicals are very hazardous to the earth, as well as anyone who comes into contact with them.  In fact, 20 percent of the pollution in fresh water comes directly from the dying and treating of fabrics. Keeping our water safe and clean is vitally important for the health of people and the planet.

cotton versus organic cotton

Improved Working Environment

In most parts of the world, cotton is still picked by hand. When harsh chemicals, like pesticides and fertilizers, are used on the plants, those chemicals can be transferred to the people picking that cotton. This means that those chemicals can directly injure or harm those workers. Exposure to these chemicals has been known to cause birth defects, some reproduction disorders and weak immune systems.

Creating a Sustainable Future

Eliminating chemicals from the production of cotton is one way that people are helping to create a sustainable future. By protecting the environment and the people, organic cotton farmers are helping to make our planet safer and cleaner for the coming generations. With no chemicals, the soils are healthier and more resilient in regards to climate change, which means they can be used continuously and still yield excellent crops. This also means that cotton will be able to be produced for much longer. By protecting the health of the land, cotton growers are ensuring that our planet will continue to be a hospitable home for humans.

cotton towels organic cotton

When you are choosing fabrics for your home and clothing, it is important to consider organic cotton. This type of cotton is created and cultivated without the use of harsh chemicals and fertilizers in order to create a more sustainable future as well as a more comfortable present.

Images:
Courtesy Gloria Cabada Leman via Flickr
Courtesy Kimberly Vardeman via Flickr
Courtesy New Internationalist Magazine via Flickr
Featured image Courtesy Michael Bass Deschenes via Flickr

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