The use of organic cotton in fashion and footwear

The use of organic cotton in fashion and footwear

The use of organic cotton in fashion and footwear

When it comes to plant-based fibers, cotton is a staple in the fashion industry. This naturally-derived fiber is one of the most widely used components for making fabrics and it is a vital part in many of our wardrobes!  It is hard to imagine your favorite garments being made from anything else… but it is important to consider the impact cotton harvesting has on our Earth. Here at Shu Da, we strive for sustainable change and support textile production that involves minimal environmental impact. This is why we want to share the benefits of opting for organic cotton to support long-term sustainable agriculture.

 

What is Organic Cotton?

Organic cotton is grown without artificial fertilisers and pesticides and since there are no synthetic or toxic nasties, organic cotton it is purer and safer! It is produced following the regulation of the EEC (European Economic Community) and the NOP (National Organic Program), this means that organic cotton must be produced in the following ways:

 No use of genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds

  • No treatment of fungicides or insecticides on seed
  • No use of synthetic fertilisers
  • No use of herbicides
  • No use of pesticides
  • No use of chemicals for defoliation

 

What are the benefits of Organic Cotton?

Cotton is a favored textile in clothing as it is soft, breathable, durable and lightweight. But non-organic cotton is the crop that is most heavily sprayed with chemicals in the world, causing environmental and social issues.  So you may be wondering how organic cotton compares to the conventional cotton alternative. Here are some benefits of going organic:

Benefits to you.

  • Organic Cotton is hypoallergenic.

Who doesn’t want cotton that is kinder on your skin? You can avoid rashes and itchy skin with organic cotton as there are no chemicals caught within the threads.

  • Better Quality clothing.

Organic cotton retains its natural soft properties as there are no toxic chemicals that may erode the material over time.  Your clothes won’t only feel better, they will last longer too! This is thanks organic cotton’s stronger threads and longer fibres with less yarn joins compared to conventional cotton.

Benefits to the Environment.

  • Prevents water contamination.

 Since organic cotton does not use hazardous pesticides, fewer harmful chemicals contaminate water sources. According to Water Footprint, producing organic cotton rather than conventional cotton reduces water pollution by 98%. This is good news for wildlife in our rivers and oceans and means that people are under less threat of falling ill from contaminated water.

  • Reduced water use.

Organic cotton uses 91% less water, according to the Textile Exchange. Organic cotton is a rotational crop which means the soil is able to retain its water better than non-organic cotton. Banning the use of genetically modified crops also means less water is needed to grow organic!

  • Improved the quality of land

 Growing organic cotton promotes healthy,  toxin-free soil. The soil maintains its nutrients as a rotational crop and is able to soak up more water which helps with droughts.

 

Benefits to Farmers:

  • Improved working conditions and health.

Previous to organic farming, workers were exposed to harmful chemicals which threatened their health. Thankfully organic cotton farmers work in better conditions, without the exposure to cancer-causing toxins.

  • Support for farmers livelihoods.

 Farmers are provided with a stable income which supports their families and community. Organic cotton farmers often grow other crops in the nutrient soil which provides them with additional, keeps the soil healthy and offers a diverse food supply to the community. 

So there we have it, organic cotton is better for people and the planet! There are so many environmental benefits of buying organic cotton products and they outlive the slightly cheaper non-organic alternative, so it is an investment worth making! When you next purchase cotton clothing will you go organic and support responsible cotton production?

 Organic Cotton in Shu Da – Coming soon!

The Shu Da Hamish mule that we all know and love is having a sustainable revamp! The new and improved design is set to feature a blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton, making it softer on your skin and kinder on the planet! Keep your eyes peeled for more newness announced very soon for Autumn/ Winter 2022!

 

Sources:

Organic Cotton | Fashion & Textiles | Soil Association

2017 ORGANIC COTTON MARKET REPORT – Textile Exchange

Assessm_water_footprint_cotton_India.pdf (waterfootprint.org)

Organic Cotton - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

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