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We might not realize it, but cotton is the most popular fabric all over the world, and accounts for more than half of all fiber needs across the globe. To keep up with this demand, cotton growers resort to artificial means and excessive use of pesticides to make cotton grow faster. The products manufactured with this type of cotton tend to be full of chemicals and can cause allergic reactions to the skin.
Non-organic products that are grown with the help of chemicals and metals harm the environment too. The pesticides affect the soil and the water, damaging the natural resources in the process and disturbing the ecological balance. Regular cotton mainly causes soil loss and leaves the field unsuitable for growing other crops. The environment is harmed beyond imagination to produce just a single T-shirt!
Several people have become more aware and conscious about these problems in recent times. There is more attention towards environmental problems, leading to the production and popularity of organic materials. Organic cotton has been around for a while now, and is used to make premium towels, bed linen, and clothing. Products made from organic cotton are usually considered high end, and are generally more expensive than regular cotton products. The demand for organic cotton products keeps growing as more people become aware of their benefits.
Difference between organic and regular cotton
There is a world of difference between regular and organic cotton. Anyone who has used organic cotton products will find it hard to return to regular cotton. The benefits of organic cotton don’t just stop at the quality of products. Read on to find out the large number of benefits of organic cotton.
Purity of the Cotton
The purity of cotton fibers is judged from the way the cotton is picked. Cotton is either handpicked or machine picked. Organic cotton is completely handpicked, preserving the purity of every fiber and ensuring that no fiber is damaged in the process. Regular cotton is more in demand and supply, and is usually machine-picked to cope with the rush. This doesn’t maintain the purity of the fibers, and also damages cotton fibers in the picking process, leading to loss and wastage. Organic cotton products are softer than regular cotton because of the longer fibers. Being handpicked ensures these fibers don’t get weakened or broken, resulting in softer and more durable products.
Regular cotton farming starts with GMO or genetically modified seeds. They are modified to build resistance to bugs, but when the bugs become stronger, more pesticides are required. Organic cotton is made from natural seeds, and there is no use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Bugs are controlled with insects that kill the pests. As a result, organic cotton products are safer for the skin.
Regular cotton is grown on the same soil over and over again, degrading the soil quality, removing nutrients, and leading to unhealthy crops. Since these crops require more water, they are irrigated heavily, resulting in water wastage. Organic cotton is rotated from one soil to another, and the nutrients retain water for long, requiring less irrigation. This leads to healthier crops.
The weeding process of regular cotton farming also uses chemicals in the form of herbicides that kill weeds. The use of such harmful chemicals affects the quality of crops, suck out moisture and nutrients from the soil, and also harm the farmers. Out of the total amount of pesticides used in farming, more than 25 per cent is used for cotton. These include highly toxic insecticides and carcinogens. Constant use of such chemicals can lead to serious diseases in farmers, and affect the neighboring environment. In organic cotton manufacturing, weeding is done by hand, hoeing, and different cultivation processes.
Processing of regular cotton uses a large amount of chemicals. The use of heavy metals, chlorine, and chemicals dyes are not unheard of in the manufacturing of regular cotton. Even after washing the finished products, the residue of these chemicals remains and can cause serious skin allergies. Several people suffer from skin problems like eczema because of regular cotton products. Organic cotton uses safer alternatives to chemical dyes and whiteners. Natural or water-based dyes, peroxide for whitening, and other safer products are used to manufacture the finished goods.
Organic cotton is softer, hypoallergenic, and last for a long time. But the most important benefit is protecting the ecosystem, reducing wastage of water, and ensuring a safer working environment for the farmers and manufacturers. Organic cotton is a sustainable and eco-friendly option to regular cotton. Try it today to feel the difference yourself.
Check out my SOL Organics review for some of the best organic cotton sheets on the market.