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Why Buy Organic Cotton?

Why Buy Organic Cotton?

Cotton has really great marketing behind it, but conventional cotton has some dirty secrets.

I’m sure you guys have all seen those “Fabric of Our Lives” ad campaigns, featuring happy people snuggling into cotton garments. Sure, conventional cotton is comfy. It’s also relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. What we don’t always think about with textiles is how that fabric gets onto the shelf.

We talk a lot at Crafting a Green World about eco-friendly fabrics, but we don’t always spend as much time talking about why it’s important to opt for these alternatives. They’re often more expensive and harder to find than their conventional counterparts, and I think sometimes we forget the “whys” behind green crafting.

Why buy organic cotton?

What's the trouble with conventional cotton?

Cotton gets a lot of love as a natural fabric, but how natural is conventional cotton, really? Let’s take a look at how non-organic cotton production impacts the planet and the people who grow and harvest it.

Conventional cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world. In fact, 16% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on this single crop alone. That is huge. These pesticides run off into local waterways contaminating drinking water and harming wildlife.

All of those pesticides are no good for the people who work in those fields, either. We grow the vast majority of the world’s cotton in developing countries, and those farmers don’t have the means to implement as many safety measures in their farming operations. These farmers experience an array of health problems from coming into contact with all of those pesticides in the field.

Another little-known fact about conventional cotton is that much of the stuff grown worldwide is genetically modified. That means when you buy conventional cottons, you’re indirectly supporting companies like Monsanto, who are notorious for mistreating and bullying farmers. In India, farmers are so deeply in debt from costs associated with GM cotton that in some areas farmers are committing suicide at rates up to one every eight hours.

Feeling a little bit down about the cottons in your stash? Dont beat yourself up! I’m a big believer in using what you have and doing the best you can to make greener choices in the future. Instead of feeling guilty, be glad that now you’re empowered to make more sustainable choices next time you’re shopping for fabric.

Read more: Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Do Good, Environment, Make a Difference, Materials & Architecture, Nature, News & Issues, , , , , , , ,

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Crafting a Green World

We know that buying handmade or making things ourselves is more eco-friendly than shopping at big box stores, but how can we make sure that the crafts we’re making are as green as possible? That’s what Crafting a Green World is all about! From sustainable fabrics and ideas for creative reuse to eco-friendly art supplies and tutorials, we want to help you make your crafty life greener. We feature everything from tutorials and supplies to green crafters and book reviews. Crafting a Green World is your number one resource for organic, natural, and recycled crafty projects, products, media, and businesses. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

97 comments

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12:38PM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

Recently made my first investment in a organic wool and a organic cotton bed pillows for sleeping/napping also some organic cotton pillow cases and pillow covers for non-organic buckwheat pillows that I already have. Slowly but surely I'm going to have as much as I can organically grown products where I spend about 1/3(so say the experts) of my life sleeping. Bedroom carpet is next to go on my list.

9:21AM PDT on Jun 14, 2014

good info

11:26PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Just ban pesticides.

11:14PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Yes indeed why buy it.

6:16PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks

5:27PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

thanks.

12:30PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks

12:05PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks.

12:04PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Very useful.

5:25PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

As much as I like and would buy organic. It is always very expensive. We cant make it ourselves or grow it ourselves either. I try to buy organic produce but it is hard.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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