The benefits of farming organic cotton
• Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers which has deadly effects on wildlife and cotton workers, killing an estimated 16,000 people each year.
• By avoiding pesticides, farmers are avoiding huge debts.
• A higher concentration of CO2 is bound to the soil, reducing our carbon footprint.
• Organic farming prohibits the use of genetically engineered seeds which pose a threat to ecosystems, and the health and economy of farmers.
• Unlike conventional cotton farming having a massive impact on local water sources, organic cotton is mostly rain-fed.
• Organic farming practices includes taking consideration to animal welfare. Therefore, practices of cruel nature (e.g. mulesing) are prohibited and animal stress minimized.
• Organic farmers take a preventive approach to disease in contrast to the routine treatment of antibiotics or pesticides.
• Sheep are reared on organic feed and grazed on organic land free of pesticides.
How do I know that what I am buying is organic, socially responsible, and free of toxic chemical residue?
Finding a t-shirt made with organic cotton doesn’t seem to be all that difficult these days which is good, but to be ensured that the organic textile products that you buy are manufactured under eco-friendly conditions, there are some important symbols to look out for.
With quality seals, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), NATURTEXTIL Certified BEST (IVN BEST) and the Soil Association Organic, you are assured strict ecological and fair labour standards from the harvesting of raw materials to manufacturing and labelling. The certified textiles contain a minimum of 70% (100% at BEST standards) certified organic fibres and all chemical inputs must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. For stricter standards in chemical inputs, you will see the IVN BEST seal.
The beneficial qualities of bamboo
• Rapid growth
The extensive root system of bamboo (which is left behind after harvesting) helps retain water, improves soil quality, and prevents soil erosion and disruption of fragile eco systems.
Bamboo absorbs more CO2 and produces 35% more oxygen then the equivalent grove of hardwood trees.
Bamboo fabric is 100% biodegradable.
The manufacturing of bamboo products provides job opportunities in areas needing economic stability.
Other than the beneficial qualities bamboo has for the environment, it also has antibacterial and odour resistant properties, great qualities for athletic wear!
So, it helps choosing recycled polyester over virgin polyester. Here are some reasons why.
• Plastic is kept out of landfills
• Recycled polyester has a 75% lower carbon footprint
• Recycled polyester uses 90% less water
• It takes an estimated 70 million barrels of oil and nearly twice the energy to produce virgin polyester
• The recycling process uses low hazard chemistry and toxic levels are therefore considerably lower.
- Shirtsinbulk.com, 2013, Fun facts about fleece, http://www.shirtsinbulk.com/Article/Article.aspx?ID=59
- Waste2wear.com, 2013, http://www.waste2wear.com/faq
- Glynis Sweeny, 2015, It’s the second dirtiest thing in the world- And you’re wearing it,http://www.alternet.org/environment/its-second-dirtiest-thing-world-and-youre-wearing-it
- oecotextiles.wordpress.com, 2009, Why is recycled polyester considered a sustainable textile?, https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/why-is-recycled-polyester-considered-a-sustainable-textile/
- ota.com, 2012, Organic cotton facts, https://ota.com/sites/default/files/indexed_files/Organic-Cotton-Facts.pdf
- organicclothing.blogs.com, 2007, Bamboo: Facts behind the fibre, http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/09/bamboo-facts-be.html
- econation.co.nz, Bamboo, http://www.econation.co.nz/bamboo/
- bamboogroove.com, Top ten reasons why bamboo can save the planet, http://www.bamboogrove.com/why-bamboo-save-planet.html