Organic Cotton: It's Better and Here's Why!


A simple way to add sustainability to your wardrobe is to incorporate natural fabrics. Natural fabrics as opposed to synthetic fabrics biodegrade and honestly just feel better on your skin. When it comes to cotton which is the number one natural fabric, organic will up your sustainable game even more. So why make the switch? There’s several reasons why it’s better for you and the planet, and why it's worth spending just a little bit more in the end. Organic cotton lasts longer because of its higher quality so you can feel good about buying less and sticking your budget.



What exactly is organic cotton?

The same requirements that apply to organic food apply to organic cotton. According to the USDA, organic production involves preserving natural resources and banning most synthetic pesticides. The European Union (EU) has similar guidelines for organic crops, including cotton.


Why is it more sustainable?

Organic cotton actually uses less water in the field than conventional cotton because it has more salt in the soil, chemical pesticides, and the depletion of nutrients from the non- rotation of crops. Conventional cotton production uses A LOT of water and consumption increases as cotton products move through the textile supply.

Cotton is also considered “the world’s dirtiest crop” because of the crazy amounts of pesticides it uses, $2 billion worth and 16% of the overall agricultural use. The Soil Association says that organic cotton has a significantly lower carbon footprint and is more financially stable for farmers- especially in developing nations.


Health Benefits for you

The skin is your largest organ and absorbs traces of what you put on it. Organic cotton is simply safer for your skin because it doesn’t have a harmful chemical called glyphosphate which has been linked to cancer. According to the Organic Trade Commission, the number one pesticide used in cotton production in 2015 was glyphosate. This chemical has not only been linked to cancer but also to endocrine disruption. Experts say these disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system, possibly affecting reproduction, the nervous system, and the immune system. Switching to organic cotton means not having to worry about this nasty stuff, in any amount, touching your skin.


Lydia’s three brand recommendations


Three of my favorite brands that carry organic cotton are:


Amour vert- for you

Beautiful clothes for women. They carry organic cotton and other natural fibers too; like silk and wool. Clothes are stylish and classic, meant to be worn for years. They don’t follow trends, but rather exude a polished, simplified, elegance. They also have departments for men, babies, and home. Sustainable goodness abounding!


Pottery Barn Kids- for your kids

PBK carries organic cotton sheets for your little ones. My kids love their patterns, especially Harry Potter and Spider Man. They are super soft and wash really well. I watch for sales and make purchases only when they are having a sale- which is pretty often.


Hanna Andersson- for you and your kids

This shop carries organic cotton pajamas for kids and adults. They are always changing up their patterns and kids love them. Just like PBK’s sheet their pajamas are soft and wash well. Plus, there’s the added bonus of potentially matching with your kids! I shop their sales too, which they have pretty often.


Sources and further reading:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/organic-production-and-products_en#organicproductionrules

https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Allowed-Prohibited%20Substances.pdf

https://ota.com/sites/default/files/indexed_files/CottonandtheEnvironment.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/06/the-weedkiller-in-our-food-is-killing-us

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

https://www.swedishlinens.com/blogs/news/organic-vs-conventional-cotton

https://www.soilassociation.org/media/6491/cool-cotton-organic-cotton-and-climate-change-2015.pdf