How Sustainable Is Organic Cotton?
What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion production is commonly understood to address and resolve issues around ‘animal cruelty, environmental damage and worker exploitation’. Sustainable fashion is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘ethical fashion’ and ‘green fashion’, all of which respond to similar concerns.
What is organic cotton?
Organic cotton as opposed to regular cotton is characterised by its more eco friendly approach to the production process.
Organic cotton is grown in a chemical free farming environment to promote natural soil health, cutting out fossil fuel-based agricultural chemicals and genetically-modified seed.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) & The Better Cotton Initiative regulate the requirements that ensure organic status of The Better Uniforms' textiles, from farming and harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
Better treatment of farmland means less new farmland must be created.
Organic cotton production uses 20% less water than its traditional counterpart.
Farm owners and workers are not exposed to chemical toxins and generate more profits for their crops. The absence of chemicals means farmers also are able to grow food on their land providing an additional revenue steam.
No GMO’s containing nasty carcinogens with connections to birth defects genetic damage and other negative health effects.
Consumers who touch and wear organic textiles are less prone to skin irritations.
Organic cotton is accessible. ACF Clothing uses a Japanese organic cotton-linen blend in an array of items across all collections. Check out the Emery Short if you don’t know where to start.
Why should we practice sustainable consumer behaviour?
Organic cotton, as a subset of sustainable fashion, aims to decelerate the global production and consumption of wearable items.
Brands are perpetuating this movement by making efforts to be more transparent about their sourcing, manufacturing and distribution processes; in turn, as consumers we have the responsibility to shop with ecological integrity. Ethical consumerism not only saves our Earth, but it also saves your money: conscious purchases can help streamline your wardrobe to bring peace of mind , establish and refine your personal style; you’ll be immune to the flurry of fast fashion trends that dominate popular culture and he longevity of the items you own and love will increase.
For reference to increased international efforts to propagate sustainable fashion, the global organic production in the 2013-14 season covered 220,765 hectares of land, and involved nineteen countries!
How you can make a difference:
Be intentional in your shopping so that you contribute less to fast fashion - the items that are hot for a week and also last about a week;
Tell your friends and family about sustainable fashion and its implications - subjective and objective knowledge of this will make its way into social norms, which have massive authority in our everyday decision-making;
Reuse clothing by donating unwanted items to your local Salvation Army, and while you’re at it, thrift shop there too; and
Recycle - or upcycle your existing clothes that you no longer enjoy.