Notable Product of the Month
Each month Goods for the Planet, LLC highlights an organization, or product, that shares a cause that is close to our hearts
This Month -Organic Cotton
Why Choose Organic Cotton?
All farming was pretty much organic before synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides were developed and pushed on farmers through government subsidies and other incentives. Farmers used natural techniques to control pests and keep their soils healthy. They planted trees around the perimeter of their fields to attract birds and other wildlife that ate the pests that invaded their fields. More manual labor was used to maintain weed control in the fields and crops were rotated and animal manure added to replenish nutrients in their soil. All-natural seeds were saved, mixed and developed to produce stronger and more plentiful crops but they were never genetically engineered, the way many seeds are today, to be pesticide tolerant so the farmers could spread polluting pesticides. The field runoff and aerial overspray of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides in today’s farming has weakened or killed the helpful insects, birds, bees and animals along with the pests that are not compatible with our crops. Runoff has been polluting underground aquifers, groundwater, streams and rivers, deforming and killing further fish and wildlife.
Because synthetic chemicals were heavily subsidized by our government, there are only about 60 Organic Cotton farmers left in the United States, primarily in Texas, New Mexico and North Carolina, producing about 20,000 bales annually. Countries that could not traditionally afford synthetic chemicals, including China, Uganda, Benin and Turkey, have been able to ride the chemical storm and come out with a very desirable and limited product. However, of all the farmland worldwide only about 472 hectares (1,172acres) are used to grow organic cotton. Through supply and demand, we can increase the healthier, more sustainable, production of organic cotton by buying organic cotton products whenever possible. It is well worth the investment!
To market products as organic, manufacturers must go through extensive supply chain verification by third-party entities, both government and non-government. Purchasing organic products supports the farmers that use healthier, more sustainable methods. It allows them the pleasure of working in a healthy environment.
Using organic products also brings you, your friends and family a lifestyle that is better for you and feels more luxurious to your skin and other senses. Along with the organic food you eat, organic cotton clothing, skin care and other organic cotton products help keep you healthy and it is softer, breathes better, and supports the environment we all need to survive.
Just because a garment is labeled as green, sustainable or eco-friendly does not make it organic. Cotton clothing is only organic if it is certified to an organic cotton standard.