Organic cotton is grown without toxic chemicals, using growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility while using less water. The main benefit of an organic cotton product is that crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or genetic modifications. These toxins are harmful for farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems. Ultimately, organic cotton is the most sustainable product and therefore our preferred material.
In 2010 My Husband and I spent 6 months traveling through in Nepal and India, and volunteering in different places. During this time, I Volunteered as a Radiographer at a regional hospital in Nepal near Chitwan. What I saw in that month absolutely astounded me. I saw very advanced tumours in almost every patient. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen working in Australia and the UK. I believe it is due to the use of pesticides in agriculture as it is a huge source of work in Nepal and especially in the area of Chitwan.
Here is an article on this. It mentions that In Nepal, 500 different brands of insecticides, 7 acaricides, 229 brands of fungicides, 6 bactericides, 88 herbicides, 10 rodenticides, and 19 biopesticides are currently used.4 The application of pesticides in commercial farming is exceptionally high in Nepal.9,10 The use of pesticide is more intensive in the Terai regions such as Chitwan and Kathmandu valley where agriculture is more commercialised (source: BioOne.Org, 1 Jan 2020 'Patterns of Pesticide Use and Associated Factors Among the Commercial Farmers of Chitwan, Nepal').
Why should we care?
The use of toxic chemicals used on crops to create products that we purchase and wear should be a concern to us. We are unknowingly putting the farmers (and anyone living in these areas) lives at risk, harming the environment and also ourselves in wearing these toxic products. It affects the soil where they grow their food, the water systems used for drinking water, bathing etc and affects the air also.