What Are The Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing?
We all know and love cotton and as with most natural resources, it has gone organic. But some of you may ask, is it worth the higher price tag? Is it really that much better? Organic cotton skirts and dresses are an absolute breeze to wear with how comfortable they are, not to mention just how flattering the fabric falls. The other great thing about organic cotton is that its environmental footprint is smaller. So not only will you feel fantastic in your new outfit but also your choices.
Here at Cotton Dayz, we have a wide range of cotton dresses, tops, skirts, and pants to suit just about every occasion and season with plenty of cotton and organic cotton options. We ship Australia-wide and internationally to get you looking stylish in your new cotton clothing.
What is Organic Cotton?
Conventional cotton is a natural fibre that has been grown for centuries; however, organic cotton is still a relatively new concept as we begin to realise our environmental footprint.
Organic cotton was first trialled in the 1980s as an attempt to secure sustainable, ecological, and biodynamic agriculture. It is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. This is done by maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil, reducing the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and encouraging biodiversity. Throughout the entire production, organic cotton does not use any chemicals that may be used in conventional cotton including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilisers as well as any synthetic dyes, bleaches, or anti-wrinkle agents. It also does not use genetically modified seeds.
The organic cotton industry abides by strict practices and requires third-party certification organisations to verify that the process is entirely organic. Organic cotton clothing is grown and manufactured without the use of any chemicals, so it is safer on your skin and on the environment.
How is Organic Cotton Clothing Made?
Organic cotton clothing is grown, manufactured, and finished in a similar way to conventional cotton; however, organic cotton does not use any synthetic pesticides, pollutants, or chemicals, so it is better for the environment and for your skin. This is how organic cotton clothing is made:
Growing, Harvesting and Ginning
Organic cotton farming works with nature. It maintains economical balance and sustains the environment by following strict farming and production practices.
Organic cotton farmers have respect for the soil as a living system and avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides. Instead, they ensure the soil is at its optimum health by using natural fertilisers, composting, and crop rotation. By encouraging biodiversity, farmers create conditions that reduce the likelihood of any pests doing any major damage to their crops. To control pests, organic farmers may use beneficial predatory insects, crop rotations, and natural pesticides such as neem oil.
Once the plants are mature, organic cotton is hand-picked without the use of defoliants, machinery, or chemicals. Hand-picking also reduces waste.
Ginning is essentially a cleaning process turning the raw cotton balls into clean fibres. The cotton is dried to remove any moisture then it is put onto the ginning machine with its revolving circular saws, with closely spaced ribs, that pull the cotton through and prevent any seeds from passing through. Cotton is 40% fibre and 60% seed by weight. Once separated in the gin, the fibres are compressed into large bales and go to textile mills, while the seed and various ginning by-products are used for animal feed and for human food, mostly in the form of cottonseed oil.
Next, the organic cotton is put into the carding machine. A carding machine is a series of rollers with teeth that almost resemble rotating round brushes. It detangles and separates the threads pulling them into a single, continuous, loose rope. Removing any final waste and making it finer, stronger, and smoother.
There are different types of spinning machines, but ring spinning is the most commonly used worldwide. These machines work by spinning the cotton fibres into a long thread of yarn.
To create fabric, cotton is either woven or knitted. Knitting involves looping the threads onto each other whereas woven fabrics involve weaving the threads through each other like the mesh of a tennis racket. You can tell if a fabric is knitted or woven because the knitted fabric will have a bit of stretch in the width, but woven fabric won’t have much give at all.
After each manufacturing step, organic cotton manufacturers avoid the use of any chemicals, bleach, or inauthentic materials. Natural alternatives are used instead, such as natural spinning oils that biodegrade are used in the spinning process and potato starch is used for sizing.
Most fabrics undergo one or more finishing touches to make them look and feel more appealing. There are various, hundreds in fact, different ways to finish cotton, including brushing for extra softness, printing, and dyeing. Organic cotton uses low-impact fibre reactive dyes, organic colour-grown cotton, and earth clays that aren’t made up of harmful chemicals and use less water during the dying process. For printing on organic cotton, natural vegetable and mineral inks are used. Organic cotton clothing uses these natural alternatives to reduce the toxic consequences and minimise its environmental footprint.
Once the fabric has been finished with the final touches of colour or print it is then sewn into your favourite organic cotton skirts and the ultimately comfortable cotton dresses that keep us looking stylish without the environmental impact.
Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing
Not only will you look absolutely fabulous in your new organic cotton clothing but there are also a whole lot of other benefits when you choose the organic option. Here are some of the reasons why organic cotton is so great:
Throughout the entire process of growing, harvesting, and manufacturing, organic cotton works hard to minimise its environmental impact. Conventional cotton uses up to 25% of the world’s use of insecticides and can take up to 7000 litres to produce a single pair of jeans. Organic cotton takes 71% less water and 62% less energy to produce than conventional GMO cotton.
Because organic cotton is a completely natural fibre and not blended with synthetic materials, it will not release microplastics into the ocean. Synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, release microplastics into waterways every single time they are washed. With 1.7 million tons of microplastics released into the oceans each year you can rest easy knowing your organic cotton won’t contribute to this.
Safer on Skin
Organic cotton is free from pesticides, harmful chemicals, bleaches, and other things that can irritate your skin. Our skin is our largest organ, it’s the first barrier of our immune system and can absorb things into our bodies. Wearing organic cotton stops skin irritation and keeps us healthy.
Better Work Conditions
Not only is the lack of use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides better for our environment but it is also safer for the farmers.
Forced child labour is also unfortunately common in conventional cotton production in developing countries. Organic cotton workers are paid a living wage by Fairtrade or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-certified companies and benefit from safer work conditions.
Organic cotton clothing doesn’t need fabric softener to keep feeling great on your skin. It just needs a little soap, water, and sunshine to keep it soft. This means not only will it not release microplastic but also fewer chemicals will be flushed into our waterways.
Where to Buy Cotton Clothing Online
Not much feels better than flaunting your new outfit especially when it’s made of organic cotton with so many ethical and environmental benefits. You can look stylish and have peace of mind.
Update your wardrobe with our selection of organic cotton clothing or our 100% cotton clothing that makes you feel fabulous about yourself and the environment. We have a vast range of cotton dresses and cotton skirts available that we ship Australia-wide and internationally.