There are three simple reasons why organic cotton is better than conventional cotton: it’s better for the planet; it’s better for you; and, it’s better for the workers who grow the cotton, produce the fabric and manufacture the garments.
100% certified organic cotton is grown using sustainable farming practices which do not use toxic pesticides and fertilisers. Why is this important? According to studies, conventional cotton farming covers just 2.5% of cultivated land but is responsible for 25% of the world’s insecticide use and more than 16% of the world’s pesticide use. The World Health Organisation has classified 8 out of the top 10 pesticides used in conventional cotton farming in the US as being moderately to highly hazardous. One example is aldicarb, a pesticide so toxic that a single drop on the skin can kill an adult. 1 million kilos of this pesticide was applied to cotton crops in the US in 2007. It is also commonly used in 23 other cotton producing countries.
The EJF reports that ‘99% of the world’s cotton farmers live and work in the developing world where low levels of safety awareness, lack of access to protective apparatus, illiteracy, poor labelling of pesticides, inadequate safeguards, and chronic poverty each exacerbate the damage caused by cotton pesticides to low income communities.’ These workers often include child labourers, who are at particular risk when working with hazardous chemicals.
By buying organic cotton garments, you are supporting an industry which ensures cotton farmers are not exposed to the risks of toxic chemicals and commonly have fairer working conditions. Andrew Quinn from OCC Apparel states that, ‘farmers in India generally get a 30% premium over farmers growing non-organic cotton – many, many villages are benefitting from large international brands choosing organic cotton’.
So thank you (for a bunch of reasons) for purchasing Cliveden sleepwear.