It's no secret that society is increasingly being mindful of the foods that we are putting inside of our bodies. The organic food market has grown rapidly over the last decade with more and more people consciously choosing to eliminate processed foods, GMO's and other unnatural forms of nutrition. However, when it comes to what we put on our skin, the largest organ of the human body, we are far more liberal and careless. When an article of clothing arrives in our closet and ultimately on our backs many people are often oblivious to the thousands of chemicals that have made the trek with them. Here are a few alarming facts on what is universally considered the dirtiest crop in the world, cotton.
- Worldwide, cotton covers 2.5% of the cultivated land, yet accounts for 25% of the world's pesticides.
- According to the World Health Organization, 20,000 people die every year from accidental pesticide poisoning in conventional cotton agriculture, and 1,000,000 people a year suffer from long-term pesticide poisoning (Pesticide Action Network).
- Cotton pesticides are so toxic that effects from exposure include impaired memory, severe depression, disruption of the immune system, paralysis and even death.
- Cotton pesticides dispersed from rain storms poison nearby lakes, rivers, and ultimately makes their way in to the worlds drinking supply.
How can we make a difference?
We choose clothing that is made from organic cotton in lieu of traditional cotton. Why is organic cotton a better option?
- Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides minimizing your exposure to cancerous chemicals.
- Organic cotton improves the quality of the land, prevents water contamination, and conserves biodiversity. Simply put, it is a more environmentally conscious choice.
- Organic cotton is softer in most cases and prevents skin irritation due to the absence of pesticides.
- Workers that harvest organic cotton are not exposed to the grave health risks posed from harvesting pesticide and chemically laced cotton. Making it a more socially conscious choice.
- Organic cotton is higher quality, has stronger fibers and is longer lasting.
- We vote with our dollars, letting companies know that we want safer, more sustainable textiles in our clothing.
We've been using a new hashtag the last few weeks on Instagram. #OrganicFits, short for organic outfits. Join us in bringing awareness to the benefits of organic clothing. Even if your outfit isn't wholly organic, usage of the hashtag still starts the conversation and begins a shift consciousness.
Buying organic doesn't have to be a struggle to integrate in to your life. You don't even have to give up the brands you know and love. If you already have a favorite t-shirt, or favorite brand, simply go to their website and do a search for an organic version. Many companies are hearing our calls for sustainability and including organic in their new lines.
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