Organic vs Regular Cotton
Fabric For Freedom has teamed up with three bloggers to raise awareness on why shopping for organic clothing is so important. Our organic backless jumper is featured in all imagery (shop it here). This fabric is UK sourced and all clothing is made in our London factories. Fabric used is certified organically-grown and spun into yarn at a GOTS-certified mill.
There is a lot of contradiction surrounding shopping sustainably. Many find it overwhelming or too hard to be fully committed to ethical shopping. At Fabric For Freedom we try to educate by highlighting the importance of being wiser about purchases, ethical shopping isn’t just about buying second hand or vintage. We understand that as consumers we want new fashion - clothing is our identity an expression, a choice. It tells our story, our character, who we are - that is why we offer an alternative.
Reducing the amount we buy is important. If we choose better product, that lasts longer, that is ethically made and that we are going to wear more than three times this is how we make a real difference. Make sure you are supporting brands that do the right thing; protecting people and the environment.
Many people believe that shopping organic is just to protect the environment but it actually has huge social impacts as well.
- Social Impact
Going organic gives power to farmers not GM companies and helps farmers feed their families and the local community. It ensures a safer working environment for the farmers and manufacturers.
There is very strict social and economic conditions for both farmers and buyers when you have an organic certification. In order to have this certification you have to have paid fair wages, provided safe working conditions and received a fair price for the produce from buyers. In turn this reduces property within the local community and eliminates against child labour and inhumane treatment.
As the organic cotton is produced without toxic chemicals it means that the workers health and safety is greatly improved. Regular cotton producers suffer from serious health problems and deaths due to the chemicals used in our clothings. Organic cotton production avoids this and is saver for the growing communities.
Lastly non-organic cotton production puts so much pressure on cotton farmers in developing countries that around 300,000 farmers commit suicide per year. Pesticides also contribute to this as the burden of pesticide debt has resulted in thousands of suicides in India which is the world’s largest cotton producer. By purchasing organic cotton you know through fair wages and the avoidance of pesticides that this is avoided.
The processing of regular cotton uses a significant amount of chemicals. The use of heavy metals, chlorine, and chemical dyes are not unheard of in the manufacturing of regular cotton. Even after washing the finished products the residue of these chemicals remains and can cause serious skin allergies.
Organic cotton uses safer alternatives to chemical dyes and whiteners. Natural or water-based dyes, peroxide for whitening, and other safer products are used to manufacture the finished goods.
Organic cotton is softer, hypoallergenic, and longer lasting. But the more important benefits are protecting the ecosystem, reducing wastage of water, and the eradication of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. 3,000,000 people suffer the effects of pesticide poisoning each year, 20,000 subsequently die.
Conventional cotton production uses around 11,000 litres of water for every kilogram of cotton produced. It is estimated that less than 10% of the chemicals applied to cotton fields are actually used. The rest goes into the air, soil, and water around the fields. This in turn is harming or killing wildlife and farm workers, and severely affecting the ecology of the surrounding areas.
Knowing where your clothes come from is so important, make an effort to shop organically to protect the people making our clothes.
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