A to Z on Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.
Benefits of Organic Cotton:
Top Ten Producer Countries:
Led by India and including (in order of rank) Turkey, Syria, Tanzania, China, United States, Uganda, Peru, Egypt and Burkina Faso.
Low Impact Dyes:
Certified Organic Cotton uses only low-impact dyes, which contain no heavy metals and use less water in the dyeing process.
It stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. GOTS is one of the leading processing standards set for organic textiles worldwide. Once a business has completed GOTS certification, it acquires a license which entitles said business the rights to use GOTS logo.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100:
It is an independent testing and certification system. It tests for harmful substances.The requirement for the certification is that all components of a garment have to comply with the required criteria (i.e.in addition to the outer material, it also tests sewing threads, linings, prints etc. as well as non-textile accessories such as buttons, zip fasteners, rivets etc.).
Formaldehyde is generally used to give a permanent press effect to clothing, to increase stain resistance and for color fasting. It is also used to keep garments looking new and fresh while in transit, and to retard mildew growth. In 2011, the US described formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen”. The most common effect is skin irritation.
Conventional (Non-Organic) Cotton:
Traditional cotton is considered to be the world’s “dirtiest crop”due to its high use of pesticides. In fact, even though traditional cotton is only grown on 2.5% of cultivated land, the crop uses 16% of the world’s insecticides. These chemicals are known to have adverse effects on surrounding wildlife, farmers and even our food because cotton husks are often used as part of livestock feed.
7 of the top 15 pesticides used on conventionally grown cotton crops in the United States have been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as potential or known carcinogens.
Then, during the process of converting raw cotton into clothing, chemicals are added to the product. These include petroleum scours, softeners, brighteners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia and formaldehyde, just to name a few.
The skin of a baby is far thinner and less oily than an adult, which in turn makes it more porous and less shielded against toxins from external sources.