Children's skin is more sensitive than adults and can be prone to irritation. That's why it's extra important for their clothing to be super soft and free from any harsh substances. Because of this, we decided to transition our kids and baby collections to Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified Organic Egyptian Cotton. 

Keep reading to learn more about GOTS certification and the benefits of choosing organic cotton! 

Cotton 

Cotton is one of the most grown crops in the world, mainly in the United States, China, and India. Native to tropical and subtropical areas, cotton is short and bushy crop and takes 150 to 180 days to mature. 

Approximately half of all textiles are made of cotton. It is extremely popular due to it's breathability, softness, and absorbency. It's the fibre behind denim, corduroy, terrycloth, seersucker, and twill. In addition to textiles it can be found in coffee filters, fishing nets, medical supplies, and tents.

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton, gossypium barbadense, is a species of cotton known for its long fibres. It's considered the most luxurious type of cotton, as it makes extremely soft and durable textiles. Because of these properties, it is often used to make towels and bedsheets. 

Global Organic Textile Standard

So what does it mean to be GOTS Certified? It is a transparent, clearly defined set of criteria for processing organic fibres. Products are certified by independent third parties and regulates harvesting, processing, and labelling amongst other things. 

The Global Organic Textile Standard 

Benefits of Organic Cotton 

Soil

Conventional cotton is one of the dirtiest industries in the world, using 16% of all insecticides and 7% of all herbicides. Organic cotton is grown without any of these harsh chemical and instead uses insects to combat pests. This maintains soil integrity and fertility, contributing to an overall healthier ecosystem. 

Water 

Organic Cotton uses 88% less water during production than conventional cotton. This is because organic cotton is typically grown in areas that can depend on rainfall instead of irrigation.

Additionally, the run off from conventional cotton field is typically contaminated with the large of amounts of pesticides and herbicides used. This has impacts on biodiversity and aquatic life as well human health. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, the runoff is much less polluted.

Food

Cottonseed oil, a byproduct of growing cotton, is commonly used in food production. It is much cheaper than canola oil or olive oil and is often used for frying in restaurants and snack food production. Cottonseed oil produced from conventional cotton often contains traces of pesticides, which can be harmful to human health. 

Emissions 

Compared to growing traditional cotton, organic cotton releases 45% less carbon dioxide during production. 

Health

Over 300 million people work in the cotton sector. The conventional cultivation of cotton exposes workers to harsh chemicals found in pesticides and herbicides.

Exposure to pesticides can cause skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, and in rare cases coma or death. Many of the people working in the cotton industry are children, in which these effects are exacerbated. 

So Why Isn't All Cotton Grown Organically? 

If Organic Cotton has so many benefits, why isn't all cotton grown organically? The general answer is that it is too expensive. Fast fashion brands depend on cheap materials in order to keep their prices low. 

One negative aspect of organic cotton is that crops have a smaller yield, this means that more land is needed to produce the same amount of cotton as conventional methods. However, with enough cotton grown each year to supply every person in the world with 27 t-shirts, there is definitely room to reduce global consumption of cotton. This in turn would allow us to increase organic cotton production. 

Our Cotton  

Because we know how delicate kid's skin can be, we prioritized transitioning our kids and baby collections to Organic Cotton. As Organic Cotton becomes more cost effective we hope to transition our other collections to organic cotton as well. For now all of our other collections are produced with OKEO-TEX® certified Egyptian Combed Cotton. 

 

Sources

https://www.patagonia.ca/our-footprint/organic-cotton.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossypium_barbadense
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton
https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/clothing/world-cotton-production-statistics/story
https://sewport.com/fabrics-directory/cotton-fabric
https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/clothing/world-cotton-production-statistics/story
https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard




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