Organic Cotton: An Introduction

Cotton-Field-1600x800

Cotton is a lightweight breathable fiber that we wear, use, and even sleep under. But, in terms of cotton, what does organic mean? We think of organic usually when it is related to fruits and vegetables. The association is that organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides or harmful chemicals.

Relating organic to something like cotton can be confusing for some because it is not something you eat. Once you do some research about it, however, you will see that the chemically intensive process have a huge impact on the air, water, and the soil throughout the world. In short, it affects the health of humans everywhere. The chemicals used to treat non-organic cotton are listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as some of the most toxic chemicals around.

So Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Organic Cotton?

fibers-72949_1280Since you now know that the process to create cotton can be extremely toxic if it is not done organically, you may be wondering why it isn’t a given that we would use only organic cotton. The biggest issue today is that developing countries do not have informed consumers and do not have a lot of control over the process. The cotton farmers are taken advantage of and exposed to the toxic chemicals, shortening their lives while the process ruins the land.

The thing is that pest control has become so engrained in even our culture that we go to extremes to try to control it when there are safer ways to save your crops. The safer ways are unfortunately more expensive on the whole, so corporations will still use the toxic methods in order to cut corners, ignoring that in the bigger picture, they are destroying the global environment and hurting people all around the world.

The Organic Cotton Grown in the United States

banner-1082652_1920There has been an increase in organic cotton growth and production in the United States due to an increase of consumer demand and awareness. The United States has increased in the regulation for labeling organic cotton products, ensuring that the products are created to the organic standard.

In the U.S. we have had a substantial increase in the amount of organic cotton being planted each year. The crops have been dramatically impacted by the devastating drought that had affected the southern plains in the past few years, but the drought has since been lifted and crops have been thriving. Due to public pressure, the amount of organic cotton grown has increased percentage-wise, ensuring that the crops are grown as safely as possible.

The Color of Organic

fruit-419623_1280One of the superficial concerns over using organic cotton is the question as to whether itcan be white and if it can be dyed. The answer to both is yes. The safe method of whitening organic cotton is with a peroxide solution, which is not harmful to the environment. So even after the cotton is grown organically, the process will continue to be environmentally sound through the completion of what the fiber was intended for.

As far as dye is concerned, they use more environmentally sound methods of dying organic cotton, keeping the product organic from growth until it reaches its final consumer. The pigments used contain no heavy metals.

By contrast, the harmful pigments that are used in non-organic material contain both heavy metals as well sulfur. As far as pigments are concerned, there is a large amount of petroleum bases as well as heavy metals. The primary reason that these are both harmful is the run-off will spill into water ways, polluting the streams and other water systems that surround the area.

  • Share on Tumblr
  •  

7 Reasons Organic Bedding is Superior

mushroom-389421_1920

In the midst of all of the organic a non-GMO hype that is happening all over the world, you may be asking yourself if the added price for organic bedding is worth it. After all, it is not like the food you eat. It is something that you will sleep on and in. So in the end, should you fork out the extra cash to buy organic bedding? Yes you should and here is why.

  1. Buying organic is better for the environment. Just because you are not eating the sheets and bedding does not change the way that the fibers are grown initially. Using pesticides and harmful chemicals during the growth cotton-branch-1271038_1920of the crops, such as cotton, will not just stay within the crop itself, but the chemicals will spread to the soil, damaging the earth that the cotton is growing out of. This is literally poisoning the Earth.
  2. They actually do feel better on your skin. I know this may sound impossible, but it is true. The fibers that go into making organic bedding have not had the same chemical breakdown that happens with non-organic products, meaning that the end product is much softer and more comfortable to sleep in than non-organic bedding.
  3. It can help with skin issues and allergies. Removing the harsh chemicals from the equation for allergy and eczema suffers will only bring extra relief. Because of the reduced about of processing and the lack of exposure to chemicals, allergy sufferers will find that they are able to breathe much easier with organic bedding than non-organic. It takes away a wealth of unnatural irritants that automatically come with non-organic products.
  4. It lasts a lot longer. Because the cotton has not been overly stripped and exposed to chemicals, it is allowed to remain stronger and closer to the natural fiber it is. It will not have the same breakdown as non-organic as a result, meaning that even though it costs more upfront to buy, you will be replacing it a lot less often, so you will save money in the end.
  5. medicine-1279553_1920You cannot wash out the chemicals. The chemicals that are used in both the growth of cotton as well as the treatment of the bedding during the production phase are part of the bedding itself. No matter how many times you wash the bedding, the chemicals and toxic gasses will remain within the bedding, giving you a constant exposure to it.
  6. Non-organic items have usually been treated with flame retardant. By law in the United States, bedding must be made with non-flammable materials. Since polyurethane is a common element used in bedding and mattresses, the bedding then has to be treated with flame retardant chemicals to prevent the bedding from combusting in the event of a fire. The reason is that polyurethane is made from petroleum, which is obviously highly flammable. Organic bedding does not use polyurethane so does not require the dousing of flame retardant chemicals to make it safe. Flame retardant chemicals have been shown to cause cancer so constant exposure is a major health risk.
  7. Organic bedding does not require any additional care. So while organic bedding is giving you all of these wonderful health benefits while saving the environment and feeling good against your skin, you do not have any extra work involved in taking care of it. It will go in the washer and the dryer just like non-organic bedding. The plus of course is that it does not require all of the prewashing that non-organic needs in order to be safe for the first use.
  • Share on Tumblr
  •