organic-cotton-health-benefitsContrary to the belief of some, purchasing clothes or products made from organic fabrics won’t immediately reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.  Non-organic fabrics are washed and don’t contain the chemicals that they’re grown with (What you wash your clothes with is more important).  Since that’s the case, you might be wondering, “Then what’s the point of organic fabrics?” Well, even though you don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals remaining in the clothes you buy for yourself or your family, there’re definite reasons to be concerned about all the chemicals used to get non-organic fabrics onto the shelf or hangers.

Non-organic cotton fabrics are the most egregious of all.  In 2003, over 50 million pounds of chemical pesticides were used on cotton crops grown in the United States.  Of these pesticides, several of them are known carcinogens, and many of them are harmful to animal species.  It’s important to remember that when chemicals like pesticides are sprayed into the environment, they don’t just go away.  They permeate the air, ground, and water supply.  On that same token, in the year 2000, over 2 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizers were used to grow cotton.  Synthetic fertilizers like nitrogen are extremely disruptive and damaging to natural plant and animal ecologies.  To put in perspective how much synthetic fertilizer is used to grow non-organic cotton, think about this: the cotton in one non-organic t-shirt takes 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizer to grow.

So, when it comes to the question, “What’s the point of organic fabrics?” The answer is that by choosing organic fabrics you choose a healthier environment for you, your family, and our non-human animal friends for years to come.

References: Organic Trade Association, Patagonia

Originally posted 2013-05-01 23:16:13.


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