Why You Should Be Buying Organic Cotton
The organic revolution has been gathering pace rapidly over the last decade, particularly with regards to one of the world’s most-used crops: cotton. Over 100,000 million tons of organic cotton were produced in 2015, with this amount set to rise.
While the ethical fashion industry is one major purveyor, organic cotton tampons and pads are another important way in which organic cotton can be harnessed. However, many women are yet to take advantage of them - only 31% of one survey’s respondents were even aware that organic/environmentally friendly feminine hygiene products existed.
Considering the benefits of organic cotton tampons and pads, beginning to invest in this area has hugely positive implications not only for the environment, but for your health.
What Exactly is So Good About Organic Cotton?
Most importantly, organic cotton is lacking in pesticides and other chemicals. The chemical pesticides commonly used in farming non-organic cotton are incredibly damaging to the environment.
Image: James Hacker Photography
Wrap your head around this stat: non-organic cotton farms constitute over 20% of the world’s pesticide use and 10% of the world’s insecticide. For the hygiene industry, this is made even worse through the commonplace bleaching of sanitary towels and pads to ensure a pure white colour. These pesticides have an horrific impact on the environment, often causing the death of native wildlife.
These effects and more are also felt by communities across the world who live near non-organic cotton farms. The health effects of such pesticides are well documented, such as one case where exposure to cotton pesticides in India resulted in stark increases in still-births, defects, and infertility among workers. This is not even to mention the economic effects of supporting non-organic cotton, creating large monopolies that undercut local workers and business.
Non-organic feminine hygiene products may also have significantly detrimental health effects. The distinct lack of health information regarding these products is suspicious enough, and one charity Safe Cosmetics comments on several potential agents like dioxin and allergens that are likely to be involved in their production.
What’s Not So Good…And How It’s Being Fixed
As with any transition period in production, there are some current downsides to producing organic cotton.
One hurdle is the higher cost that is associated with organic cotton. Organic products are priced higher due to the increased costs of growing, harvesting and manufacturing when compared with non-organic products.
The good news is this will change with increased usage. If organic cotton receives a large enough market share, which currently sits at only 0.7%, then costs will decrease alongside prices.
The potential water usage of growing organic cotton is another issue. Implementing organic cotton fields requires a lot of short term water usage, as does growing non-organic cotton. However, studies show that organic cotton may have long-term positive effects on water usage. Textile Exchange concluded that organic cotton has a long-term reduction of 91% in water usage compared to non-organic cotton.
Investing in organic cotton can have a far-reaching, positive impact on the world. Grace & Green is a revolutionary new hygiene brand connecting women with exceptional products for their period.
Our range of 100% organic cotton tampons and pads will launch in Autumn. Tune into the zeitgeist - join the movement today and go into the draw to WIN a year's free subscription of products or a free menstrual cup.
Written by Thomas Evans for Grace & Green
Editor: Skye Rytenskild
All images Free for Distribution through Creative Commons Licensing