The Textiles industry is one that can rarely be considered fair or environmentally caring and the sad truth is it can often be considered superficial. There is an increase in misleading advertising through manufacturing claims and labelling processes. It is important to get to know the businesses and brands you purchase from. The credentials of the products and services should be available on tags and/or labelling. To be certified means to be endorsed with authority by a third-party institution or state by successfully meeting certain requirements. E.g Like GOTS Certification.
ABOUT COTTON – Is it conventional or certified organic cotton?
Conventionally Grown Cotton
Most people are still in the dark about the full story behind the conventional trade of cotton. The conventional trade of cotton can include: forced child labour, heavy pesticide use and human and environmental degradation.
Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop, typically using many of the most hazardous pesticides on the market. Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides, which is more than 10% of the world’s pesticides and nearly 25% of the world’s insecticides.
It is estimated that less than 10% of the chemicals used on cotton actually serve the purpose of eliminating pests, the rest are absorbed into the plant, air, soil and water. Pesticides don’t only harm the earth; statistics report that 60% of field workers in the cotton industry show symptoms of permanent poisoning. These pesticides have not only been linked to cancer, there have been traces found in the milk of animals and nursing mothers.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organically grown cotton has been produced without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A field must be pesticide free for three years for the cotton to be certified organic.
NOTE: Even if a label says organic, unless there is certification there is no certainty unless you do your research.
Why do we use Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. “Working with, not against,” nature is the principle behind organic farming.
Organic farming methods actually help regenerate soil that has been damaged by overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It is safe for consumers, the farmers and workers who grow it, and for the natural environment.
Organic cotton material lasts longer due to its natural composition. The cotton that is grown in conventional ways is compromised and weakened by the chemicals used in growing, processing and dying of the cotton. Organic cotton is often softer and thicker and there are no worries of our skin absorbing irritants or suspected carcinogens from the fabric.
Considerations close to our heart:
- Consider the Farm Workers
- Consider the ‘Developing World’ and fair trading
- Consider how to dispose of the chemicals?
- Consider our soil and thus water-ways
- Consider our deep well-water and fresh water springs
- Consider the air, birds and animals
- Consider our Food Chain
- Consider our health and the health of our family
Who will care enough to take responsibility?
Government bodies and officials are not necessarily going to protect or inform us about what is best for us. We need to take responsibility so that something greater can occur. We must understand that every action has a consequence, an impact, be it positive or negative. Our purchasing choice alone has the ability to directly impact production methods of cotton and other agricultural manufacturing. Our choice to buy organic or environmentally sustainable products fairly traded can influence social and economic justice and instigate environmental recovery. Please care about the effect our lifestyle is having on our ecosystem, our health, our family, our fellow workers and farmers.
Few of us really stop to consider where our products we have just purchased have come from. We can all make a difference. Take a moment to consider what you spent your money on over the last week? Consider the connections of where that item came from.
Excelsis products are GOTS certified
Since 2002 Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has evolved into holding a leading set of criteria in the field of organic textile processing, aiming to define a universal standard for organic fibres. Standards apply to fibre products, yarns, fabrics and clothes and cover the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibre products. GOTS provides a continuous quality control and certification system from field to shelf. There are also social responsibility components (i.e., fair wages, no forced or bonded labour, etc.)