You're probably seeing a lot of organic cotton around lately, and maybe wondering what's so special about it. First of all, if you're just trying to make small steps into a more sustainable wardrobe, standard cotton or any natural fiber is a great step. I'm not going to bully you into being "perfect" at sustainability, because that is just not realistic for most of the world. I will share what I have learned along the way of designing with organic cotton, and you can decide from there.
Does organic cotton even look different?
If you put a swatch of organic cotton next to standard cotton, you will visibly see the difference. It looks like it has more of a luster to it like silk. From a designer point of view, it has a better hand, meaning the feel of it when you touch it. Our organic cotton sateen is so soft (like butter!), but very durable due to the fibers being longer and more durable than conventional cotton. Cotton is a great fabric choice for warmer seasons because of how breathable it is and how easy it is to care for, so you might want to invest in an organic cotton piece to have a lasting garment in your wardrobe.
Why is organic cotton more sustainable than standard cotton?
Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals (no pesticides!), leaving the soil, air and water free from contaminates that cause harm to the earth and the humans working with it. Organic cotton produces around 46% less CO2e compared to conventional cotton. It also uses far less water to grow since organic cotton growers typically utilize rain far more than irrigation. Our textiles are printed using inks that are Oeko-Tex standard, meaning no formaldehyde or yucky chemicals. "According to the Textile Exchange, organic cotton is 46 percent less harmful to global warming, provides 70 percent less acidification of land and water, reduces the potential for soil erosion by 26 percent, reduces surface and groundwater use by 91 percent and may reduce energy demand by as much as 62 percent." -
Organic cotton is hypoallergenic?
Yes! Since organic cotton doesn't use chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides to produce, it is safe for the farmers which grow it and the consumer that wears the finished garment. That being said, make sure the brand doesn't put chemicals in their dyes or packaging the garment with chemicals like formaldehyde to reduce mold. When you smell it's strong odor, you just know what I'm talking about. If you aren't sure, always wash your new or used clothes before wearing them! FYI we don't finish our garments off with chemicals to reduce wrinkles or mold in delivery.
Should I get rid of my standard cotton pieces in my wardrobe now?
NO! The best thing you can do to start a sustainable wardrobe is to please just take care of the clothes you already have. Think of each piece as a special gift.
Let us know what you'd like to learn more about this or what we do here in the comments below.