When you are shopping, you may see tags for organic fabric and wonder how it has anything to do with you? We think that's a legit question, and we've often considered ourselves, because at THR3EFOLD, as much as we love the planet, we are first and foremost focused on at-risk people. So when we learned the dangers of traditional textile production as it relates to the farmer and the end user, our perspective was changed. So let's take a deeper look at how organic cotton is actually a humanitarian issue.
The Bottom Line
The most harmful aspect of conventional cotton is the excessive use of nasty pesticides. Although cotton crops occupy only three percent of global farmland, more than ten percent of worldwide pesticide use is attributed to conventional cotton. Zetus lapetus that's not good!
So who and what are actually harmed by conventional cotton production?
The farmers are spraying the crops, inhaling the chemicals, and even often hand picking the cotton. Overall being heavily exposed to these harmful chemicals.
Here is a startling fact for you: according to the WHO (World Health Organization), 20,000 people die annually in developing countries as a result of harmful chemicals sprayed on non-organic cotton. WTF? Other harmful side effects of pesticide exposure are birth defects, long-term memory loss, and problems with the nervous system, immune system, and reproductive system.
According to Green America, “Pesticides are most often sprayed from the air, so they spread easily to surrounding neighborhoods. Only an estimated ten percent of this flood of chemicals actually accomplish their goal. The rest are absorbed by plants, soil, air, water, and our bodies—killing wildlife and harming ecosystems. The US Fish & Wildlife Service reports that millions of fish and birds are killed every year from the legal application of pesticides.” And guess what? We eat that livestock and drink that water. Well isn’t that just great?
Change is coming
On a more positive note, signs indicate that organic cotton is poised for significant growth. Popular outdoor gear company Patagonia has used organic cotton for years, and other brands are starting to follow suit. H&M started doing a small conscious collection in the last few years and it's growing every season. That makes me feel pretty great about splurging on their sale a few months ago.
Following in Patagonia’s footsteps in pioneering natural fabrics, Gap, Nike, and Levi’s have started using organic cotton in some of their products.
Do you want to be part of the change? Start paying attention to what you buy and opting organic. Then subscribe to our conscious consumer emails and you will be the first to know about partnerships we make with companies producing eco-friendly products.