Well, let us look at the facts about organic cotton.
- Clothing made with organically grown cotton does not retain toxic residues. It is a pure, natural, and breathable fiber.
Before the 1950s, cotton-growing mainly involved sustainable techniques, but now cotton is one of the most environmentally damaging crops grown in the world, resulting in wide-scale water pollution, chronic illness in farm workers, and calamitous effects on wildlife. Conventionally grown cotton occupies only three percent of the world's farmland, but uses 25 percent of the world's chemical insecticides, including Parathion, which is at least 30 times more toxic than DDT! As insects develop pesticide resistance over time, farmers desperate to keep up yields often resort to genetically modified cottonseed and heavier and heavier cocktails of pesticide poisons. Ironically, less than ten percent of those chemicals actually accomplish their task—the rest are absorbed into the plants, the soil, the air, the water and eventually, our bodies.
- Organically grown cotton is not treated with pesticides.
Acute pesticide poisoning has become a major public health problem worldwide, following the intensifihation of agriculture and the promotion of agro-chemicals in low and middle income countries, with more than 300.000 deaths each year. The easy availability of highly toxic pesticides in the homes of farming communities has made pesticides the preferred means of suicide with an extremely high case fatality. Similarly, the extensive use of pesticides exposes the community to both long-term and acute occupational health problems.
- Organically grown cotton does not use petroleum-based fertilizers.
Organic farmers rely on crop rotation, not chemicals, to maintain and replenish soil fertility. In order to meet international organic standards and obtain organic certifihation, a field must be pesticide-free for at least three years, and organic cotton farmers cannot use genetically modified cottonseed. Organic cotton has softer, longer fibers than conventional cotton, so the resulting fabric is softer, thicker, and more durable.
- Organically grown cotton does not use genetically engineered seed.
Organic cotton is especially great for infants and children. Whereas pesticide and chemically-treated clothing traps heat and prevents skin from absorbing adequate moisture—often causing rashes and eczema on sensitive skin—organic cotton is natural and breathable. Children with allergies particularly benefit, as organic cotton does not have the residual toxic residues that linger on conventional cotton. Even those without sensitive skin find organic cotton more comfortable and kid-friendly. The longer fibers stretch as children grow.
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