Have you ever thought about where your bed sheets come from?
If you own conventional cotton sheets, you could be curling up with an industry that treats its workers unfairly while perpetuating farming methods that are harmful to the environment and your health.
That’s why more people are making the switch to 100% organic cotton, which is revolutionizing the textile industry. Rather than relying on conventional farming methods that pump toxic chemicals into the earth, advances are being made to ensure your organic cotton products are processed naturally, safely and ethically.
Organic living is all the rage and it’s easy to see why! The chemicals and pesticides farmers use on conventional crops have been proven time and time again to cause serious side effects to our health, the environment and the soil that grows our produce. While many people started eating organic years ago, we are just scratching the surface of how organic cotton fabrics affect our skin and health.
Conventional cotton is processed using toxic chemicals that seep onto our skin and into the air around us. Sleeping on a sheet made from conventional cotton could be a contributing factor to all types of health issues. Because organic cotton is processed naturally, it eliminates those chemical health hazards and even provides natural benefits, like being hypoallergenic, regulating body temperature and absorbing moisture.
Out of all the natural fibers, organic cotton is the most skin-friendly, which is why it’s often the preferred fabric for newborns and anyone with sensitive skin, or skin ailments. Absent of irritating chemical dyes and treatments, organic cotton actually soothes the skin, which makes it ideal for clothing and bedding.
By using natural farming methods, soil that produces organic cotton becomes healthier and yields more crops without the need for toxic, man-made fertilizers or pesticides. Any animals or birds that may ingest the crops or water run-off will be spared the harmful (even deadly) side effects from toxic chemicals.
If you think that just sleeping in conventional cotton sheets contributes to health risks, imagine what it’s like for the farmers and factory workers that handle raw cotton. The textile industry is notorious for unfair labor practices that can have harmful and damaging effects on workers. That’s why organic companies like ours are turning to Fair Trade cotton, made in factories with a commitment to transparency in all aspects of the supply chain, and most importantly, protect their farmers and workers.
The amount of harmful pesticides used in conventional cotton is staggering. In India, conventional cotton only takes up 5% of the farmland, but it accounts for 55% of pesticide usage in the country. That’s why we only use organic cotton for our SOL bedding, guaranteeing chemical-free, non-GMO cotton from seed to harvest to end product. As the demand for organic cotton continues to rise, it starts to diminish the exposure farmers and factory workers have with the toxic chemicals.
Although the conventional cotton industry is booming, many of the farmers who produce the cotton are part of the poorest global demographic. Many are trapped by illiteracy and inability to own land, relying on those above them to purchase their cotton at prices below production costs. Other factors like fluctuating market prices, climate change and production costs have a detrimental impact on a farmer’s livelihood. To help break this cycle, we only use Fair Trade Certified™ cotton, which gives power back to the farmers so they can make a livable income off their crops.
Many women farmers face discrimination, and in most cases are overlooked for government benefits and creditors. In India, women make up as much as 70% of agricultural work, becoming the providers and nurturers for their family. Despite their prevalence in cotton farming, it’s been difficult for many women to reap the benefits of their work, and many still live in poverty. Fair Trade Certified™ cotton providers have opened the door for many women farmers, investing in their education and providing them assistance to help grow their business, support their families and earn higher wages for their households.
Most consumers and companies want to be sure their organic cotton products are both safe, ethically manufactured and eco-friendly. However, conventional farming practices are still widely used in the textile industry, which puts a strain on the environment.
Conventional farming heavily relies on the use of chemicals to fertilize their crops and keep away pests. While they may seem convenient, the effects of these chemicals do more harm than good. In most cases, they strip soil of its ability to reproduce, which results in more labor and higher costs for the farmers.
Conventional farming methods mean that future crops will be exposed to even more chemicals from the soil, in addition to what’s applied during their growth cycle. Once the soil is contaminated, it can take years to fully remove the toxic residues left behind by fertilizer and pesticide chemicals.
Greenpeace recently ran a campaign called Dirty Laundry, which showed that 20% of freshwater pollution was caused by the textile industry’s use of toxic chemicals. The uncovered facts shed light to the immediate threats that these practices have on our health and ecosystem.
Most farmers turn to conventional farming methods because they are considered cheaper and can produce more crops than organic farming. A few years ago, that may have been the case; however, today’s technological advances have made organic farming easier, more affordable and more productive than previous methods.
To produce organic cotton, farmers must avoid the use of any chemicals or pesticides that could compromise the integrity of the crop. Instead, they opt for natural methods that stimulate growth and keep away pests. For example, the cotton we use in our 100% organic bed sheets are harvested using crop rotation and water management to keep the soil healthy. As a result, weeds are easily removed by hand, without the use of harmful chemicals.
Egypt recently tested advanced farming methods to reduce its usage of artificial fertilizers and pesticides by more than 90%. And their new methods actually increased their production of organic crops by 30%, proving that production increase can be natural and organic. As more companies invest in organic cotton, farmers are exploring more organic farming methods.
Organic farming isn’t just good for the current crop, it’s designed to replenish and provide nutrients to the soil so that it remains fertile for future crops. Farmers are beginning to realize that although chemical fertilizers may increase their crops in the short term, the long lasting effects will cause the amount of their crops to diminish over time. Not only is it more environmentally responsible, it’s the more fiscally sound option for the textile industry.
As you start making the switch to organic living, keep in mind the importance of organic cotton and its products. You can rest easy in comfortable, breathable bed sheets that support cotton farmers and reduce soil and water pollution.
That’s why all of our bedding is made from 100% organic, Fair Trade cotton. It’s organic for the planet, fair trade for the farmer and awesome for you!
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