I know I am not the only one who does things without thinking. Who is with me?
I buy organic, or choose organic when the option is there, because it is better for me - right? In food I totally get it, but in clothing? What are the benefits of wearing organic? I thought I would do myself a bit of research and these are some things I found:
Let me start by saying that a field must be pesticide-free for at least three years to be certified organic, and the cotton must be processed according to international organic standards.
Authentic organic clothing and fabrics can help the earth in a number of ways:
No chemical pesticides are used; organic cotton farming produces far less CO2 emissions (organic farming takes 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per acre per year out of the atmosphere!); organic cotton farming uses up to 60% less water than conventional farming methods; pesticide or herbicide residues are not entered accidentally into the environment; humans and animals are not exposed to chemical pesticides or herbicides; when the fabric is discarded, pesticides and herbicides are not returned to the earth in landfill, or entered into the recycling process.
Okay, now I don't want to bore you with the details, although I find this stuff pretty interesting, but just a few more things:
Conventionally grown cotton occupies only 3% of the world's farmland, but uses 25% of the world's chemical pesticides!
Ironically, it is estimated that less than 10% of the chemicals applied to cotton accomplish their task, the rest are absorbed into the plant, air, soil, water and eventually, our bodies. Sprayed from the air, these highly toxic chemicals can drift into surrounding neighbourhoods, poison farm workers, contaminate air, ground and surface water and cause major eco-system imbalances. As insects gradually become resistant to pesticides, increasing amounts are applied to be effective, resulting in massive ecological disasters and crop failures.
People with allergies and chemical sensitivity especially benefit from organic cotton clothing, as conventional cotton may retain harmful toxic residues. Even if you don't have sensitive skin, organic cotton will just feel better against your skin.
Of course, organic farming has social and human benefits too. Conventional farming endangers farm workers and their families. There are innumerable cases of serious pesticide-related health problems, including birth defects, long-term memory loss, paralysis and death.
Organic farming encourages just economic systems in the supply chain. It provides an economically viable and socially acceptable alternative to large-scale farming and dependence on subsidies.
Recent awareness of the benefits of organic fabrics have increased the demand and thus lowered the cost, which is always a plus.
Now I don't know what you think, but those seem like pretty good reasons to me to add some organic pieces to the ol' wardrobe, huh?
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