The lowdown on organic cotton
Our fabrics are so important to us; it's what makes our Thoughtful Clothing, thoughtful. Here, we take a look into what makes organic cotton so wonderful.
Why we love organic cotton...There's a LOT to this force-of-nature fabric, and while we're simply scratching the surface here, you'll get a good idea of why organic cotton makes so much more sense...
Better soil and harvestsBefore it's even planted, the seeds of non-organic cotton are usually treated with genetically modified pesticides and chemicals where as organic cotton seeds, are not. This means that right from the beginning, the seeds can grow naturally. Compost and manure are used to help the plant grow as nature intended. This also helps enrich soil quality - a far cry from the synthetic fertilisers and toxic pesticides used on conventional cotton, which inevitably find their way into rivers and wildlife.
Helps farmers and their familiesIt goes without saying that better quality soil brings a better harvest and bigger income. So when it's time to harvest organic cotton, farmers regularly plant other crop varieties (known as 'crop rotation') to improve soil structure and restrict the build up of pests and weeds. Often, Cowpea, 'Lab Lab', or other edible bean-producing plants are sewn in-between cotton. So even when crops are rotated, a sellable end product is grown so farmers earn a steady income.
Keeping it organicIt's at the stage when the harvested plant has been carefully spun into fibre that certification happens. The Global Organic Textile Standard (or GOTS) only certifies fibres as organic when strict environmental and social criteria have been met. You can read all about these and the certification process here. Rest assured that all of the cotton fibre we use has been GOTS certified organic.
Better factory conditionsPart of the social criteria that organic certified cotton must meet is not too dissimilar to our Code of Conduct. Factories spinning the fibre and manufacturing clothing must employ people on their own free will, have ‘zero tolerance’ towards child labour and pay living wages. Get the full lowdown on the GOTS website.
Better end garmentsWhen care is show to all involved in the growth and manufacture of organic cotton, a better-finished piece of clothing is the result. Organic cotton is usually higher in quality and silky soft on the skin - thanks to zero harsh chemicals. Nothing can beat the piece of mind you get when you know your clothing has been made ethically right from the beginning.
What you can do
- Commit to buying only organic cotton: look for GOTS, Soil Association, and/or 'OE' symbols on clothing labels when shopping. Or try our Thoughtful Clothing.
- Get involved with the Soil Association and their ongoing 'Small Changes, Big Difference' campaign.
- Spread the word, and do anything else you can think of - this list is far from exhaustive!