The current fashion and clothing industry especially with the internet and online shopping gives us all choice, we are not limited by whats available in our town/city/country and now more then ever we need to make that choice count for ourselves, our families and our planet.
I admit - until writing this, I knew but didn't really know the whole picture and just how detrimental the clothing industry and non organic clothing production can be to the environment and people. We all hear the words - green, eco, sustainable, organic, we know its better for us and the right thing to do/choice to make yet so often we don't. I am sure if money wasn't a factor everyone would choose products that are better for you without question but with the research and knowledge of these effects now so accessible, is it still okay to turn a blind eye? Lets weigh up the cost, keeping in mind I'm only touching the surface of this issue..
Firstly the facts
Cotton has been used for at least 7000 years and is the worlds most commonly used natural fibre - these days though there isn't much about it that is natural. Cotton only makes up 3% of total farmed land area yet it accounts for 25% of the insecticides and 10% of pesticides used worldwide - making it one of the most chemically treated crops. Much of the pesticide and herbicide is bleached out or washed away during the manufacturing process, but still it is important to know pesticides have been linked to several diseases and conditions, including asthma, autism, learning disabilities, birth defects, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and several types of cancer.
If not cotton, clothing, even for babies is often made from synthetic fibres manufactured with petrochemicals, acrylic (polycrylonitriles), PVC, and esters. All of which are linked to health problems and all of which you should try avoid especially when it comes to your babies skin which is thinner and which absorbs a lot more then yours.
Lets talk about the impact to our planet when creating these materials. The EPA estimates that up to 2 million birds are killed annually from just one of the insecticides used on cotton. The US fish and wildlife service has found pesticides unintentionally kill at least 67 million birds annually in the US alone through chemicals seeping into run off water and poisoning lakes, rivers and waterways.
Nearly 20 % of all water pollution occurs through the making of non organic clothing.
According to the world health organisation 20,000 human deaths are caused annually by pesticide poisoning in developing countries. The US also sees around 10,000 cancer related deaths of farmers who are exposed to the same chemicals every year.
Harvesting this crop and manufacturing clothing that is not organic exposes farmers, workers, us as consumers and entire wildlife ecosystems to harmful toxins and chemicals that are poisoning us and destroying our planet.
Believe it or not less then 1% of all cotton grown is organic. Organic cotton has numerous positive impacts on our health and the health of our planet. Organic cotton manufacturing entails crop rotation that helps to replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. The removal of weeds is done physically instead of using pesticides. Beneficial insects are used for pest control. And by using these safer farming methods with less chemicals better working conditions are created, water quality is improved and soil becomes healthier as well as using less energy.
Organic cotton is more durable - standard cotton lasts 10-20 washes before beginning to break down due to chemical exposure and the harsh process in which its been manufactured where as organic cotton can last up to 100 washes. Believe it or not the biggest thing you can do to help the planet in this industry is to buy less - quality over quantity.
Organic cotton is a no brainer really and it's the only way forward if we have any chance of leading a sustainable future. Luckily for you most of our products are organic. We try our best to choose brands that are aware of our ecological footprint and who place emphasis on the environment, fair trade and quality of fabrics. Check out our organic collection to see all pieces, but for those of you with young babes, Goat Milk NYC ticks all the boxes in regards to the above and is leading the 'green' kids clothing industry.
Organic cotton is not the only way to go; keep an eye out for products and clothing made from industrial hemp, bamboo, recycled polyester, wool, soy cashmere/silk which are made of natural/recycled materials.
As parents we all want the best for our babies/children - we want them to be healthy not just in childhood but throughout their life, we want them to be able to grow up and experience the planet and our environment as we have, we want them to be able to admire wildlife and different eco systems and then to be able to go on to have their own children and be able to share life's joys with them. Make responsible choices and become an eco conscience consumer.