In general, organic cotton is more sensitive to heat and more likely to shrink as a result of being washed or dried at higher temperatures, when compared to conventional cotton. Wear them more. In the past 35 years, cotton yields have risen 42% (pdf), largely due to biotechnology and better irrigation techniques. The Hevean 8 features a base layer of latex, giving it the ideal sturdy bottom, and then three layers of comfort and transition latex. They are unbleached, giving them a beautiful natural look, without added chemical load on our planet. According to the WWF, it takes 2,700 litres of water to produce the cotton needed to make just one T-shirt. But with ill-described and conflicting definitions of what does or does not constitute organic cotton, who is to say what qualifies? Organic cotton is cotton that is produced, and certified, according to organic agricultural standards. This educational content is not medical or diagnostic advice. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our medical review board and team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff. © 2020 Everyday Health, Inc. Clothing made from organic cotton is very comfortable. India grows the great majority (pdf) of the world’s organic cotton, and the US is probably (pdf) the biggest organic-cotton consumer. Laundry uses a lot of water and energy, too. It’s common to see the claim that organic cotton actually requires less water over time, in large part because soil with more carbon from organic matter stores water better. dirtiest and most chemically intensive steps. “Organic, all-natural is not always better,” he said at the Cotton Inc. event. With worldwide annual production of some 26 million tonnes (2014/15) of cotton fibre grown in some 35 countries, cotton is among the most important commodities in international trade. And how far cotton travels before it winds up in your closet should factor into the environmental equation too. Photo has been cropped. Fair-trade Cotton. Projects & Contacts. Water Cotton is the thirstiest crop in the world. That’s because conventional cotton has been genetically engineered for that purpose. The different varieties are a result of fiber length that is used in their making. Not helpful, really, because really it shouldn't be any softer, BUT, I do think that perhaps companies are going to more lengths to MAKE it softer to encourage using it. What to Expect has thousands of open discussions happening each day. That's really not bad - where are you getting them? They are made from 55% hemp and 45% Certified Organic cotton, making the fabric more soft and fine than 100% hemp. These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Pesticides The production process for conventional cotton uses a massive 16% of the wor… Criteria that govern the use of the term “organic” may vary among countries, but generally, some basic methodology applies. Organic cotton, by definition, comes from plants that have not been genetically modified. The different density layers can be rearranged to find just the right comfort for the sleeper. But about half of cotton crops globally—organic and conventional—get their water from rainfall, according to Cotton Inc. Cotton is a soft, fluffy fibre almost entirely made of cellulose that grows in a protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plant. Clothing made from organic cottons have the feel of linen without the weight. The cotton's natural color does not fade. ... Organic cotton is better for water than conventionally produced cotton. These are some of our most ambitious editorial projects. Buy less of them. Are you sure you want to delete your discussion? Organic cotton is a good choice if you are trying to buy environmentally-friendly textiles, but due to the reduction in crop yields resulting from the lack of chemicals allowed for organic cotton production, it requires yet more land. With a fiber length ranging from 35 to 38 mm, Pima cotton gets softer with every wash and will feel silky and smooth to the touch. Many of the non-organic cotton sheets are treated with chemicals to reduce the chance of shrinking or wrinkling. In clothing—just as in food—brands love to tout their use of organic agricultural products to show they’re doing their part to fight the industry’s outsized environmental footprint. It requires a lot of pesticides and, as a result, has a negative impact on the planet, and the people who grow it. What’s most important, according to Dr. Jesse Daystar, director of the center for sustainability and commerce at Duke University, is efficiency. Polyester does have its own selling points – it’s stronger, more wrinkle-resistant, and less expensive than cotton – but it certainly doesn’t feel as luxurious as a natural fiber. Try it today to feel the difference yourself. This discussion is archived and locked for posting. Being among the finer fibres available naturally, cotton breathes, so cotton sheets feel cool against your skin. “Organic,” which generally means something was grown without synthetic additives or pesticides and wasn’t genetically modified, seems to promise as much. We keep them up because there are a ton of great conversations here and we believe you deserve to see them all. It’s also reflected in the bottom-line of retailers around the world as the organic movement has translated into green of a financial sort. Use of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy. This action cannot be undone. Are you sure you want to delete your comment? Linen is less resource-hungry, and once it has finished its useful life linen fabric will simply biodegrade with no harmful waste or by-products. One major reason, as various speakers pointed out at a May 23 panel held by Cotton Inc., a research group that serves the cotton industry, is that conventional cotton varieties have a higher yield, meaning a single plant will produce more fiber than its organic counterpart. There are no inspection guidelines to ensure processing of Green/Natural cotton is Chemical Free. Naturally colored cotton is cotton that has been bred to have colors other than the yellowish off-white typical of modern commercial cotton fibres.Colors grown include red, green and several shades of brown. In 2016/17, global organic cotton production reached 117,525 MT fiber, representing a ten percent growth. To put that outrageous figure into perspective, that’s enough water for one person to drink for 900 days. Trying to head toward a little more organic, but I have this great love for the fit of Fuzzibunz one size... haha... so we're keeping those, and the rest will be organic flats and prefolds and wool covers (plus some PUL for the newborn so I don't have to deal with BF poo and wool all the time). They feel slightly fuzzy, making it a cozy choice for winter or cold climates. Organic farming creates healthy soils, which act like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer in times of drought. Does anyone know from experience if this is true? Just try to wash to them only as needed. When you see Cotton Products labelled as “NATURAL”, you are getting Conventional Cotton grown with large inputs of Chemicals, Pesticides, and Herbicides to control weed growth. I loved the way chirore put it. Here is a list of the substances allowed by the USDA s… If you feel a message or content violates these standards and would like to request its removal please submit the following information and our moderating team will respond shortly. Organic Cotton is of far better quality than non-Organic Cotton. I'm trying to build my stash before my baby is born in March and so far I have bought the Flip Organic Day Pack and Indian Unbleached Prefolds to use and just between the two the Organic cotton is so much softer and feels thicker. The word “organic” is a powerful marketing tool. They will say that conventional cotton farming results in more production. While it’s easy to just throw all your clothes into the washing at once, taking the time to consider the best approach for different items will help you keep your clothes looking fresh and new for longer. I tried them out and they worked like a charm. Having said that, it certainly should make you feel happier in your skin. Organic cotton contains no metals (which tend to cause allergic reactions) that are typically included in the dyes used to put color and patterns into organic bedding. Enjoy! Organic foods have exploded in popularity over the last two decades. Library. By now, we all know that cotton can be seriously damaging to the environment.. Organic cotton is grown to preserve both the environment and human health. We strive to provide you with a high quality community experience. I'd buy all organic everything if I could afford it - it's better for humans - field workers, those that live near the fields, and those that are using the products, like my baby! From everything I've read Organic cotton is supposed to be more absortbant. The FAO estimates that nearly 100 million rural families directly depend on cotton production. Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee). Technically, neither should be softer than the other - the sole difference should be whether the cotton is produced organically (without pesticides, etc.) Cotton organic clothing is clothing manufactured using fibers from cotton that has been grown organically. Me and hubby were talking after I posted this and we pretty much deceided no matter what since it's better for us to use organic and to support the production of organic that were gonna just get them anyways especially since it's only $5 more than the regular birdseye cotton ones that I was originally going to buy and that's so worth the $5. Please whitelist our site to get all the best deals and offers from our partners. They honestly didn’t feel or act any different than my regular go-to, Tampax Pearl. © 2020 Quartz Media, Inc. All rights reserved. I generally buy unbleached, too, because that's one less chemical used on it (and it'll eventually bleach in the sun or stain anyhow! We respect everyone’s right to express their thoughts and opinions as long as they remain respectful of other community members, and meet What to Expect’s Terms of Use. But the most important benefit is protecting the ecosystem, reducing wastage of water, and ensuring a safer working environment for the farmers and manufacturers. It requires a shocking 2,700 litres of water to produce a single t-shirt! SPONSORED CONTENT Every year we produce 29 million tonnes of cotton which is the same as 29 t-shirts for everyone on earth. These are more luxurious and considerably more expensive than cotton and require special care when it comes to cleaning, but they can be a worthwhile investment. We want to keep with natural fabrics for the baby and are currently going back and forth between the Green Mountain... Find advice, support, and good company (and some stuff just for fun). Organic cotton is a sustainable and eco-friendly option to regular cotton. What’s a shopper to do? It will take you about 290 gallons of water to grow enough conventional, high-yield cotton to produce a t-shirt, according to Cotton Inc. To grow the same amount of organic cotton for a t-shirt, however, requires about 660 gallons of water. Of most importance is the fact that organic practices prohibit the use of ‘agrichemicals’ (artificial pesticides and fertilizers) along with genetically modified (GM) seed. But the reality isn’t always so simple. Unless your organic-cotton garment is certified under a program such as the Global Organic Textile Standard, it is near impossible to guess whether the dyeing processes used were organic or not. The best bet is stick to this simple ethos: Buy better clothes. Just the whole organic vs non organic has got me baffeled. I'm trying to build my stash before my baby is born in March and so far I have bought the Flip Organic Day Pack and Indian Unbleached Prefolds to use and just between the two the Organic cotton is so much softer and feels thicker. By using organic cotton baby clothes you will have your baby feeling as if they’re on a cloud – okay, maybe not that great but they’ll be very comfortable! Your organic cotton t-shirt may have actually used up more resources to produce than one made of conventionally grown cotton, and could have a greater overall impact on the environment. Does anyone know from experience if this is true? Non-organic cotton has been dubbed the ‘world’s dirtiest crop’, but the story is very different for organic cotton. It is true that cotton … It still uses chemicals, just naturally derived ones, which advocates say are less harmful—though there’s some evidence to suggest that certain organic pesticides can be worse for the environment than conventional ones. Talk about making it harder to choose! That being said do any of you know if organic cotton is generally softer than non-organic because I really like the feel of the organic flip inserts so maybe the extra $5 is worth the softness? Archived discussions are usually a bit older and not as active as other community content. Plus most cotton is treated with fermaldahide and that never washes out for the life of the fabric. I’m sure you can imagine how much the chemicals cut down on how soft and comfortable organic cotton really feels. Image by Otota DANA on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-2.0. 21 Organic Cotton Fashion Brands You’ll Feel Good in and Good About. There is currently no evidence that wearing a garment made with organic cotton feels different on your skin. The Soil Association says it uses only 243 litres by comparison. lol I don't know and any help would be greatly appreciated I'm living and breathing CD the past 3 months I think my brain is starting to go fluffy :-) But I think I'm making the most informed choices I can about CD my little boys bum! The disparity is similar for a pair of jeans. It's pretty much what we were thinking. About us. Does organic cotton feel noticeably different on your skin? These guys aren’t super leakproof, though. ”It’s really about maximizing your product per amount of inputs.”, The lower yields of organic crops have even been linked to higher greenhouse-gas emissions on the industrial farms producing them. Our hemp and organic cotton blend sheets have a beautiful raw, thick linen-like appearance that softens with every wash. :-), Thank you for your answer it makes sense too! Other fibers commonly used for bed linens are linen and silk. Come to think of it, I say forget traditional cotton. Learn more about. Cloth-eez Organically Grown Unbleached Birdseye Flat Diapers, reviewed by our medical review board and team of experts. For instance, cotton used in true cotton organic clothing must have been grown without synthetic fertilizers or genetically altered cotton seed. There’s no more certain way to reduce your impact than to reduce the amount of clothes you consume and to keep those clothes for a long time. This action cannot be undone. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. (It’s worth noting that Cotton Inc., a not-for-profit group, works to help boost the industry’s demand and profitability—though it insists any claim it makes must be vetted by its legal department and the US Department of Agriculture.). Environmentally conscious shoppers should also be aware that how their cotton is grown isn’t the only question to ask. By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy. The production of organic cotton does not use machine cleaning. Organic cotton does not use chemicals in the manufacturing process and is therefore less likely to cause a reaction in people with chemical sensitivities. Organic cotton is generally defined as cotton that is grown organically in subtropical countries such as India, Turkey, China, and parts of the USA from non-genetically modified plants, and without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides aside from the ones allowed by the certified organic labeling. This stems, for the most part, from China, fuelled by growing demand both from the organic dairy industry and the domestic textile sector. Now (in the US) certain synthetic products are allowed by the National Organic Program. When you tell them this, they will raise another point. The main environmental concern with water use relates to irrigation, especially in countries such as India, struggling with water scarcity. Pima cotton is an extra-long staple, or ELS, cotton that is grown in the southwestern United States as well as in Peru and Australia. Share . Organic cotton is softer, hypoallergenic, and last for a long time. Because of that difference, to get the same amount of fiber from an organic crop and a conventional crop, you’ll have to plant more organic plants, which means using more land. However, organic cotton — generally produced without synthetic chemicals, such as fertilisers and pesticides — is a different story altogether. It is an eco-friendly, renewable resource which provides a livelihood for millions of people worldwide. In the end it’s the consumer’s choice. That land, of course, has to be tended and irrigated. I've found, though, that a lot of companies either use softer cotton or brush it when it's organic. There are a few misunderstandings with organic farming, for example, that organic means no pesticides or herbicides at all. I'm not entirely sure why, other than perhaps to encourage buying organic? Natural Cotton is not Organic Cotton or totally Eco-friendly. - and better for the planet (and what's better for the planet is better for humans, too, right?) As explained in this article, the organicness is in the “nature of the pesticides”, not the absence of them; however, this has changed and the regulations are revised constantly. Everyone had great answered. Let’s take a look at how cotton is produced to gain an understanding of how its growth and production impacts the entire planet. From everything I've read Organic cotton is supposed to be more absortbant. Increases Comfort – The feel of organic cotton is much better than conventional cotton. But growing cotton can be problematic: conventional cotton is one of the thirstiest and most chemical-intensive crops to grow. Organic cotton, a more sustainable alternative to conventional cotton, has been booming in the last few years. Before that organic cotton garment can make it to a store, it must be dyed and finished—one of the dirtiest and most chemically intensive steps in making clothes. World Cotton Production. The views expressed in community are solely the opinions of participants, and do not reflect those of What to Expect. Organic cotton, by definition, comes from plants that have not been genetically modified. So, yeah. Cotton farmers and and the handlers of the pesticide and fermaldahide laced cotton is always one of my biggest arguements for oranic. They know consumers want products they believe are better for them and the planet. I'm filling out our stash right now for a newborn, at the moment it's set up for an older infant, but I'm going to have a toddler and a newborn soon, so I'm selling off stuff and buying new stuff. To make things a bit trickier, I found cotton sheets come in a few types. Create an account or log in to participate. Organic cotton clothing can be an accessible option when looking for sustainable fashion. The one thing about organic linens, as with all organic products, is that they aren’t cheap. That's really nice... LMK how you like them when you get them! (Of course, conventional cotton also can be—and often is—sold far from where it was grown. We work hard to share our most timely and active conversations with you. But particular chemicals used in conventional farming have raised serious concerns, such as glyphosate, a widely used herbicide that’s the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller brand, which the World Health Organization has deemed a “probable carcinogen” based on studies of workers who used the product. Meanwhile, Sweden’s H&M, which manufactures much of its clothing in Asia, has been labeled its top user. Pin board. The most water-efficient option is that rain-fed cotton, but there’s no way to know whether the cotton in the t-shirt you’re buying was that variety, or whether it required additional water. Since natural cottons are not chemically stripped of its natural wax, most weaves have a characteristic smoothness and weight which makes the fabric particularly flattering in its drape and in the mellow way it reflects and absorbs light. But I was going to buy flats as well and I found some 100% Organic cotton flats and didn't know if it was really worth the extra money to get them or just get regular cotton flats? ), Thank you for your thoughts. But generally a cotton plant requires the same amount of water whether it’s organic or not, and non-organic farmers also use plenty of methods to keep their soil healthy. These factors and others can impact the final sustainability and eco friendliness of any particular product. * Different conditions, climates, soils, farming technology, farming methods and other factors can impact how well the organic cotton fibre grows, and different factories and processing plants for organic cotton have different procedures. Scarey I know. October 18, 2019. Organic Cotton. (There’s no evidence to suggest that wearing clothing made from cotton grown with the chemical is harmful.). If you think of organic cotton the same as organic food, then the answer is yes – and the reasons are compelling. or not. Yields are typically lower and the fiber is shorter and weaker but has a softer feel than the more commonly available "white" cotton. The top and base of the mattress are 100% organic cotton, with PureEmbrace wool batting. Other countries that contributed significantly to the growth include Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Turkey, and the USA. 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