It’s safe to say that most of us understand the benefits of organic food and drinks and many people now recoil at the idea of eating food grown in a non-organic environment. For some reason it’s taken us a while to catch up with the idea that the fabrics that we wear and surround ourselves with should also come from an organic environment.
What does organic cotton mean?
To put it simply, organic cotton is cotton which has been grown without depending on pesticides and fertilisers to boost production. There are plenty of natural alternatives to spraying pesticides such as releasing so-called “beneficial insects” that naturally do the job of eating potential pests rather than having to kill them with chemicals. In United States around 12 to 13% of the cotton harvested is grown organically and the figure is rising annually as consumers become more aware of what they’re purchasing.
Why use organic cotton?
For many parents today, a growing problem they are facing is that of childhood allergies. No one is entirely sure why there is such a rise in the number of children suffering from allergies but a common hypothesis is that the huge increase of non-organic and previously alien substances we are exposing our children to is a contributing factor. If you look around your home today you’ll see it surrounded by strange plastics and inorganic material which has probably been cleaned by an array of different chemicals. Although it’s unrealistic to have a home filled with wooden or bamboo appliances, there are small steps we can take to reduce our exposure to non-organic products. If you think about the products you have the most contact with, this is probably the logical place to fix first.
Sleeping like a baby
Although the phrase sleeping like a baby tends to infuriate most mums as it gives us a false sense of hope that we might actually get some sleep, babies do spend a lot of time in their cribs (some of it sleeping). By investing in an organic cotton crib mattress we can ensure that our babies have a sanctuary which is safe from the chemicals and pesticides that end up in normal production mattresses. Companies like Greenbuds Baby offer a whole range of organic products and also have organic wool crib mattresses.
As well as potential health benefits for your baby, there are benefits to going green for us all. Intensively farmed cotton is not only a massive user of pesticides and fertilisers but also a huge consumer of water. Poor farming methods and an effort to maximise crop yields leads to damage to the environment. While organic growing methods may not yield as much cotton per acre or hectare, they do ensure that the product is grown in a sustainable manner without exploiting the land or local resources. As demand increases for organic cotton, the price will eventually fall and farmers will soon realise that there is a difference between quality and quantity!