We all agree to the fact that organic cotton is much better than conventional cotton. But do you really know why you should favour organic cotton yoga gear?
There are many benefits to buying organic cotton garnment, let's take a look at the 5 main ones:
1- Organic cotton is better for the Planet:
The production of cotton, as well as other textile, has a big impact on the environment.
In order to increase production and reduce costs, cotton farmers use GMO seeds, agressive pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and artificial fertilisers leading to poisoning the soil, animals and whole ecosystem. The textile industry releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, contributing to climate change.
According to the European Parliament, "the global textile and clothing industry used 79 billion cubic metres of water in 2015, while the needs of the EU's whole economy amounted to 266 billion cubic metres in 2017. To make a single cotton t-shirt, 2,700 litres of fresh water are required according to estimates, enough to meet one person’s drinking needs for 2.5 years."
By choosing organic cotton, you reduce your environmental footprint drastically: less water is needed to grow organic cotton, organic cotton farmers use beneficial insects to control pests instead of harmful chemicals. Also, the practice of crop rotation is adopted in organic cotton farming, with many benefits such as improved soil fertility and quality & improved biodiversity.
2- Organic cotton cares for the people
The majority of cotton farmers and workers live in developing countries where working regulations are not in place. Some of the downfall of this are:
- Unhealthy working conditions caused by the daily exposure to toxic chemicals used in the field (causing cancer, poisoning,bith defects, miscarriages etc),
- Unfair treatment of cotton workers: extremely long hours, poor wages, forced labour, child labour to name but a few.
- In some extreme cases, farmers working for large organisations are unable to keep up with cost reduction demands, leading to debts and farmers comitting suicide.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, promotes healthy practices for production workers, fair wages and better working conditions. GOTS certified organic cotton has social criteria based on the International Labor Organization that ban child and address social concerns.
3- Organic cotton cares for your skin and hormones
Organic cotton fabric is softer, more durable and softer than regular cotton.
The chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton can lead to skin reactions, allergies, asthma and even cancer. “Easy care” clothing that are marketed as anti-wrinkle are made of a mix of cotton and other fibers and oftern saturated in bad chemicals.
Some chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton garments include chlorine bleach, ammonia, heavy metals and phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor.
Organic cotton textile does not use any of these chemicals. Furthermore, dyes are selected carefully: low-impact and fiber-reactive with lasting color.
By choosing organic, you also improve other cotton crop products such cottonseed oil that end up in many processed foods.
4- Buying organic cotton makes you a better human being
As consumers, our buying decisions make a HUGE difference. Look at the big amount of organic foods available in conventional supermarkets nowadays... This is due to the rise in demand for such products. By consuming organic cotton, you not only benefit from a softer and health friendly clothe, you also fight against human rights violations, improve biodiversity, reduce environmental footprint and so on...
5- Align with Yoga
Pantajali's 8 limbs of yoga start with the 10 yamas y nayamas, which can be called the "commandments of Yoga". Most of them directly link to the benefits outlined above:
- Ahimsa: practice nonviolence and self-love.
Non violence towards the soil, the workers, the animals, water ressources and your own skin.
- Satya: be truthful.
By deciding we do not want to consume conventional cotton, we are truthful to ourselves. We take responsability for the impact we have on the planet and cotton workers.
- Asteya: do not steal
Do not steal planet resources, farmers lives, children's happiness.
- Saucha: “Leave a place cleaner than you found it”
- Santocha: contentment
Buy less, better quality and lasting garments.
- Samadhi: pefect union with all
We reach a higher level of consciousness. We all are one. We are the planet, the farmers, the animals, the soil.
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Photos credits: Unsplash (Ranurte & Nickolas Nikolic)