Organic Cotton Farming is Indeed Eco-friendly
Earth Day is upon us once more and people across the globe are doing their part to minimize our carbon footprint and essentially make the world a better place to live in. Unbeknownst to many even the clothing industry is a large contributor to the pollution that’s been plaguing our planet for years but some members of this industry are trying to fix this mishap little by little.
Fashion companies like PrAna are trying to switch to an alternative fabric to help stave off the total destruction of our environment and these companies have found a way to be a bit more environmental-friendly by switching to organic cotton.
Organic cotton is the key
Carbon Trust, a company built to help other companies reduce their carbon footprint, reported that the fashion industry contributes around 3% of the CO2 emissions worldwide due to the manufacture and shipping of clothes across the globe. The Organic Trade Association reported that in 2014, the most recent data they were able to gather, around 38.3 million pounds of pesticides were used on traditional cotton farms across the United States and one of the most commonly used pesticides is glyphosate.
Glyphosate, according to the Organic Trade Association, has been discovered to have carcinogenic properties and could be a potential risk to people as well as the environment. Glyphosate not only can destroy the environment but it can also cause birth defects, endocrine disruption and cancer.
Scientists have also discovered that trace amounts of this herbicide were found in the Mississippi River watershed further indicating that despite the stringent practice of farmers in restricting the use of this herbicide in specific areas no amount of control is effective enough to keep this chemical from reaching other places. In addition to that, scientists have stated that glyphosate has been found even in foods such as Ritz crackers and Cheerio’s.
Another often used chemical in cultivating cotton is synthetic fertilizers. According to the Organic Trade Association, around 973 million pounds of synthetic fertilizers were used in upland cotton farms in 2015.Despite its popularity and efficiency, synthetic fertilizers are one of the environment’s worst enemies as it is capable of leaching the soil and affecting the natural habitat of plants.
Also, nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers have been increasing the amount of nitrous oxide into the environment, which is much more dangerous than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide emissions are greenhouse gases that have been destroying our planet’s atmosphere, in effect causing climate change. And this gas is much more potent than carbon dioxide, which in essence makes nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers a huge danger for the environment.
In 2015, traditional cotton farmers used 503.7 million pounds of synthetic fertilizers on their crops thereby increasing the harmful effects of this chemical to the environment. But with organic cotton the practices in cultivating it have made it the right choice for most clothing companies as it has almost zero negative effects on the environment.
Organic cotton farming requires zero usage of pesticides and other harmful chemicals making it the safest and most environmental-friendly fabric for clothing companies. Most organic cotton farmers rely on crop rotation, mixed cultivation and even promotion of natural enemies to manage the pests that can harm these crops. All of these practices pose no threat to the environment making organic cotton farming an eco-friendly crop.
If that’s not enough, organic cotton is also quite safe for people with sensitive skin making it one of the most sought after fabric for people suffering from eczema, skin asthma, psoriasis and other skin allergies.