Ask Clive – Organic Cotton
Organic cotton may cost more up front, but there are long-term benefits, says Clive Allcott.
Cotton is often referred to as ‘the fabric of our lives,’ and for good reason. We come into contact with cotton every day, from the clothes we wear to the sheets we sleep on.
Conventional cotton uses man-made pesticides and fertilisers in the growing process which do have an impact on the environment and the farms. It may cost less to manufacture and buy conventional cotton, but it is better for the land, the farm workers and your well being to choose organic whenever possible.
What Is Organic Cotton?
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilisers. For instance, instead of spraying chemical pesticides for insect control, sugar spray is used which attracts and encourages ants to protect the cotton from attacking insects, creating a natural pesticide.
What is sustainable clothing?
Sustainable clothing is that which aims to minimise overall environmental damage. This means clothing that’s comprised of pesticide free fibres, made
in closed loop systems or with a focus on recycling and/or reducing the overall water and chemical waste. This sustainable clothing is trackable from the field to the factory.
Should your customers go organic?
Besides helping the environment, there are other benefits from organic cotton products. Working environments are better for those on farms and small-scale farmers save money by not having to buy large amount of pesticides. Consumers benefit too, some suggest that organic cotton products are softer and
easier on your skin. Recent awareness of these benefits has increased demand for organic cotton in the retail arena which is now filtering down to branded promotional clothing. As demand increases, costs will come down.
There are many brands in the marketplace that offer Fairtrade cotton or organic cotton solutions so next time you are speaking to your clothing supplier, ask what options they have in sustainable clothing.
Clive, The branded clothing guru.