Did you know that 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide goes to conventional cotton crops? According to the Organic Trade Association that means about 55 million pounds of pesticides being sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton.
Not only that, but some of the chemicals used for the conventional cotton crops are considered to be the most toxic pesticides in the world. Shocking right? These chemicals have a strong impact especially on the soil, as they heavily pollute everything they come into contact with, but also on the health of the cotton workers. Being exposed to these pesticides means a weakened immune system but the health risks also include reproductive disorders and birth defects. Moreover, if the pesticides seep into the water supplies, they will strongly affect the community who lives around the cotton crops. You don’t have to be a cotton farmer or to live in the surrounding area of the cotton crops to be affected by these pesticides because sometimes even the food we eat may contain cotton seeds- cotton is called “the fabric of our lives” for a good reason, it is everywhere. I would even dare to say that we come into contact with cotton every single day, from the clothes we wear, the bed sheets we sleep on, to the toilet paper and kitchen towels we use daily. This is why it is important to use a more sustainable alternative to the conventional cotton and try as much as possible to use organic cotton.
It is a bit more expensive to grow and buy organic cotton, but it is worth it. The farms which grow organic cotton use non toxic pesticides, which ensures better working conditions to the workers and less harm to our planet. People who tried clothes made from organic cotton also said that they feel softer on the skin. Recent studies showed that with the increase in the demand of organic cotton its price lowered (source: http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/environmental-policy/organic-cotton-benefits.aspx). Will organic cotton be the norm?