Why Organic Cotton?
Did you know that approximately 1.25 lbs. of agricultural chemicals are used in growing the cotton in a single set of queen size sheets?
In fact, cotton crops are the second largest user of agricultural pesticides in the world, coffee is the first and tobacco the third. 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the world's pesticides are used to produce cotton. Unfortunately, the worst part is not all of those pesticides stay in the cotton fields. It is estimated that only 25% of pesticides sprayed from a crop duster actually hit the targeted crop. The remainder drifts for miles and lands on other food crops, residential areas and water sources.
Four of the top 9 pesticides used on cotton, (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite) are classified by the EPA as cancer-causing chemicals.These pesticides are harmful. According to a 1997 study by the International Labour Organization, "14% of all occupational injuries in the agricultural sector, and 10% of all fatal injuries can be attributed to pesticides." Not to mention, in the food we eat, there are 71 known carcinogenic pesticides sprayed on food crops.
Pesticides don't just hurt humans. For example, in 1995 approximately 250,000 fish were killed in Lawrence, Alabama, when heavy rains washed lethal concentrations of methyl parathion and endosulfan from cotton fields into a 16-mile stretch of a creek that emptied into a nearby lake (C. Cox,Cotton Spraying Kills Fish,1995).
Ironically, pesticides do not help to grow better crops. Since 1945, total U.S. crop losses from insect damage have nearly doubled. During the same time insecticide use has increased tenfold.
The trend of pesticide usage is changing. In 1997, large apparel companies purchased 2.15 million lbs. of organic cotton, which eliminated an estimated 43,000 pounds of pesticides and 485,190 lbs. of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (Organic Fiber Council).
- Organic Farming Practices: Organic farming is a wholistic alternative to our conventional farming practices that rely heavily on herbicides, pesticides, mono-cropping, GMO seeds, synthetic fertilizers and support big agribusiness and the demise of small farmers around the world. This is just a brief explanation of why we use organic cotton fabric. For more extensive research please visit the following sources.
OTA- Organic Trade Association
Where Our Organic Cotton Is Grown and Processed:
The sateen, flannel and twill used to make our pillows, comforters, mattress toppers and Cozy Buns Organic Baby line are organically grown in India. Sheets and baby clothes are organically grown in mostly India, but also in Peru, Turkey, and Uganda. Toweling is organically grown and woven in Portugal. We are currently searching for organic cotton that is grown closer to home. Recently, we started offering a line of organic sheets that use organically grown cotton from the U.S. and is processed in Mexico.
Organic Cotton Certification
Every fiber of cotton is produced in accordance with the standards set forth by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Individual organizations handle the actual certification: IMO, a Swiss-based organization, certifies the Indian-grown cotton; SKAL, a Dutch certifier, must approve the Ugandan and Turkish cotton. The cotton is then shipped to the mill in Punjab India where it is spun into yarn and woven into fabric. This facility is ISO 9002 certified, which speaks well to both the quality of production and its labor and environmental practices.
Color Grown Cotton:
“Natural” (aka “Ivory”) is the natural ecru color of our cotton. It is the actual color of the cotton on the stock. Domestically known as Foxfibre or Colorgrown cotton: many farmers are now growing colors such as pinks, greens and browns. Our "White" is achieved by bleaching with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe and non-toxic method of bleaching that is much preferred to chlorine bleach. Our organic fabric is minimally processed and mechanically pre-shrunk.
There is currently no fabric finish on our fabrics. A few years ago there used to be a natural fabric finish made entirely of vegetable starch from either corn or soybean. This is in contrast to the harsh chemicals used in finishing conventional fabric that you would find, for example, on textiles in a fabric store. Such finishes are helpful in keeping fabrics wrinkle free. Always be sure to wash new clothes and yards of fabric if they are not organic before wearing or sewing. It is similar to traditional foods at the grocery store that may be sprayed with chemicals. They must be washed before consuming. The same rule applies to non-organic fabric and already sewn garments.