Did you know that it requires one third of a pound of toxic chemicals to produce just one conventional cotton t-shirt?
Now think about it: how many tees do you have in your closet?
Conventionally-grown cotton crops account for 25 percent of all pesticides used in the U.S. and most of these are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as the most toxic chemicals used in the agricultural industry.
Sometimes, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed by all the statistics out there.
We all need stuff in one way or another, whether it be clothing on our backs, food in our bellies, wood for our stoves, or household cleaners for our homes. But as a conscious consumer, I find it hugely challenging to disseminate all the controversial information and chatter.
As individual consumers, we wield a tremendous force. By purchasing from vendors and producers that source responsibly, we can dramatically support the movement at large. We can vote with our dollar. And, since corporations are driven by bottom lines, they will follow the money. It is up to us to lead them to a healthier alternative.
So, where do we start? Considering that conventionally-grown cotton crops use such a vast amount of pesticides, we can seek out organic cotton clothes and products. Organic cotton producers are becoming more and more prolific, and thanks to conscious consumers like you and me, the supply is finally starting to catch up with demand.
So what’s the difference between conventionally and organically grown cotton?
Unlike conventionally-grown, organic cotton is grown and harvested with natural fertilizers, and in soil free from pesticides, defoliants, toxic fertilizers, drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals. Organic farmers rely on other methods to control pests and weeds (like our grandparents did):
- Crop rotation
- Mechanical cultivation
- Botanical and/or Biological means to control pests and weeds
If you are inspired to grow the industry at large, with the vision of eventually weeding out (excuse the pun!) chemically-drenched cotton products, here is a quick list of vendors who are leading the way in producing beautiful, organic cotton products that not only feel good (what is it with organic cotton t-shirts and how beautifully thick and soft they feel?) but make the planet a better place.
What will you vote for with your purchase?
Relephant product from Elephant’s new mindful marketplace:
Author: Pippa Sorley
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Courtesy of the seller Proyog