Cotton: All You Need to Know - WORKSPACE DO NOT USE
Why Cotton Is a Great Fabric
Chances are that most of the clothes in your wardrobe use cotton in one form or another. In fact roughly 70% of all the clothing produced globally is made from cotton or a blend of it. There's no coincidence, here's why:
Cotton is a natural fibre that can produce a soft, absorbent and breathable fabric. This makes it ideal for garments that are close to the skin (undergarments, t-shirts, etc).
It is a good thermal conduction and keeps the body warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Naturally easy to dye due the fibre's whiteness.
Cotton is very absorbant and can soak up to 27 times its weight in water. It also becomes stronger when wet.
Despite this, there is a little more that you should know about cotton, including the difference between organic and regular cotton and how regular cotton impacts the environment and communities.
In agricultural terms cotton consumes 2% of the world's farming land and disproportionately 16% of synthetic chemical pesticides.
Exposure to synthetic chemical pesticides harms you as you wear it on your skin for hours on end, which can expose you to allergens.
Requires six times the energy and as much as 500 times the water input to grow the crop compared to wool.
Impact on not only the environment but the well-being and health of local communities too. The water used to grow India's cotton export in 2013 was enough to supply almost 90% of the country's population with 100 litres of water everyday for that year.
How is Organic Cotton Different?
Identical qualities to cotton except no pesticides or chemicals are used to grow the crop.
Organic cotton clothing reduces their exposure to toxic and persistent pesticides on their skin, in soil and water, air and food. Babies and children are the most vulnerable to the health risks related to pesticides.
For adults with sensitive skin, organic cotton enables you to avoid allergens contained in chemically grown and synthetic products. Also, supporting organic agriculture is essential to creating improved working conditions for farm workers.
Uses 71% less water and 62% less energy.
Must pass through strict environment and ethical standards.
Environmentally Friendly Cotton Alternatives?
⦁ Made from the flax plant, which is naturally resilient. Which means less water and pesticides are used in linen production. ⦁ Is fully biodegradable in its natural undyed state.
⦁ Hand washing in cold and warm water with mild detergent is best to promote longevity. ⦁ When machine washing, turning the garment inside-out will protect the appearance facing side from extra wear. ⦁ Avoid washing cotton with hot water as it can cause the fabric to shrink. ⦁ When Ironing use a medium-high temperature setting, and pre-moisten the fabric if dry. Cotton also responds well to steam.
Go with Certified Organic and Fair Trade Cotton if Cotton is a Must
⦁ No chemicals in the form of pesticides are introduced into the environment. ⦁ GMO-free. ⦁ Has a smaller carbon footprint, using less energy and water resources to produce. ⦁ Safer for farmers and workers on cotton plantations, avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals. ⦁ Production must conform to strict criteria. Fair working conditions and no child labour are mandatory. ⦁ Eco-friendly dyes and fabric treatments must be used. ⦁ Safe to wear for people with allergies and are sensitive to chemicals.
Ethi offers a range of clothing and lifestyle products made with certified organic cotton. You can find them below:
To help kick start your Organic Cotton wardrobe. Here's a coupon for $20 off!