No matter how extravagant the bedding you’d find at a Macy’s or Bed Bath & Beyond store is marketed to be, the "100% cotton" is almost always made of traditional cotton. This is not up to the standard for the material in which you spend a third of your life.
Cotton is normally grown in an environment with a severe impact on the environment and the persons involved in its growth, harvest, and processing. For example, two pounds of toxic chemicals are used to process one pound of cotton on average.
Traditional Cotton is the most popular commercially produced cotton. To grow this mass produced cotton, cotton seeds are genetically modified to boost output, fed with heavy dosages of synthetic fertilizer, and sprayed with harmful pesticides. This has problematic implications not only for the workers involved but for the consumers. Commercial cotton is also machine picked to meet high demand, resulting in damaged cotton fibers. Organic cotton is picked by hand, meaning fibers remain intact without waste, and the resulting material is softer for this reason.
Cotton is literally the fabric of our lives. It is used in our clothing and our bedding, coming into intimate contact with everyone from our grandparents to our babies. This material needs to be held up to the highest standard imaginable.
About 25% of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10% of its pesticide use goes towards treating cotton crops. Health risks associated with exposure include birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems. This toxicity can seep into the underground water supply, which is especially concerning since cotton expends the most water among agricultural crops.
Traditional cotton uses more water because it is regrown in the same soil over and over. This degrades soil quality, removes nutrients, and leads to unhealthy crops that need more water. Organic cotton is rotated from one soil to another to maintain fresh soil quality.
Cotton in the factory is processed with toxic chemicals like chlorine bleach to whiten the material. After washing the finished material, the chemical reside remains, leading to serious skin allergies. Organic Cotton, on the other hand, is processed with safer chemicals like peroxide or water-based dyes to produce the same result.
Farmers of Organic Cotton use methods like composting, frequent crop rotations, and machinery for weeding. Instead of chemical fertilizers, all-natural fertilizers like manure are used. Non-toxic, but more expensive bug pesticides are integrated into the soil. This leaves untouched positive bacteria and organisms like earthworms, which are harmless to people and only make the soil richer. Both harvesting and weeding involved in organic cotton production is done by hand, via hoeing and other individual cultivation methods.
In Africa and other places around the world where organic cotton is grown, external certification agencies check to see if the farm complies with organic standard requirements. This ensures that organic cotton production is above board with regards to the environment as well as worker treatment.
Here at WellLivingShop, all of our Organic Cotton products are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Organic cotton is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for peace of mind.