Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton and is grown in subtropical countries such as Turkey, China, and the USA from non-genetically modified plants, that are believed to be grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
For those who have allergic reactions to dyes and chemicals, and for babies and children who have even more sensitivity to those, organic cotton offers a healthier alternative. Due to the fact that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, bedding made from organic cotton becomes a necessity for those of us who seek the best for our well-being.
Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. So, choosing organic cotton encourages organic farmers and motivates conventional farmers to switch to organic agriculture. This leads to a healthier planet overall.
Aside from being one of the most widely grown crops in the world, conventional cotton is also one of the most chemical-intensive to produce. Each year, cotton producers use as much as 25 percent of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticides. In addition to destroying the land, thousands of farmers die from exposure to these chemicals every year.
When conventional cotton growers harvest cotton, they use machines which cause seeds and oil from the seeds to mix with the cotton. Then, harsh chemical cleansers are used to clean the cotton and remove the oil and seeds. In addition, conventional cotton uses dyes that sometimes contain heavy metals.
Alternatively, organic cotton growers hand-pick the cotton, so it remains pure. Later, after harvest, the cotton is washed in hot water with a vegetable-based soap that removes microbial factors and cleans and disinfects the fiber. Also, when dying the finished product, only natural colorants or low impact environmental dyes are used. This whole process keeps the cotton fiber much stronger where conventional harvesting weakens it with chemical cleansers and dyes
Look for the green GOTS label! The aim of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is to clearly define the requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles, from the harvesting of raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, all the way to labeling, providing credible assurance to the end consumer.
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