Let's talk organic cotton. What is it? Why is it so good? And why, at Arvin Goods, do we care so much about this label?
Well for starters, it's not just a label. It's not just about slapping the word "organic" on it and calling it a day. Simply put, organic cotton comes from plants that haven't been genetically modified—but it's also so much more than that.
In a world of confusing information and greenwashing, it's important that we give you the down and (not so) dirty of organic cotton.
Benefitting People and Planet
Let's start with industry practices. This is huge. Because conventionally grown cotton is one of the most harmful crops to the farmers and growers who sell this crop just so we can buy clothes whenever we feel like it.
Compared to conventionally grown cotton, organic cotton uses far less water, no harmful chemicals, and produces about 46% less greenhouse gases during its production.
Farmers growing organic cotton don't use genetically engineered seeds (aka those sold by Monsanto—you know, those really upstanding guys) to grow crops. They rely on time-tested techniques, innovation and science to ward off pests and insects and maintain healthy crops and soil fertility.
Organic cotton doesn't damage the soil and ruin an area's water supply— it uses 88% less water and 62% less energy. No hazardous chemicals means no runoff into waterways, so rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner. Meaning farmers aren't exposed to toxic chemicals or harmful byproducts. Cleaner fields also mean farmers can grow more than one crop at a time, supplementing their income and food sources.
Plus, most organic cotton is grown in rain-fed areas, not in water-scarce countries like India and Uzbekistan who are suffering from lack of clean, fresh water—all for our ability to buy a cotton t-shirt. (85% of Uzbekistan's Aral Sea has dried up from cotton production, which is mind-blowing.)
The organic cotton we sell must meet strict federal regulations in place on how that cotton is grown. And if it's GOTS-certified? Even better: GOTS organic cotton addresses the multiple human rights issues found in conventional cotton production, ensuring that from seed to the pair of socks on your feet, farmers are taking care of their people and the planet. Learn more about GOTS certification.
Yet less than one percent of all cotton grown is organic. It's growing, but not fast enough. This is why here at Arvin we're committed to creating the world's cleanest basics, to being a part of the solution—like you.
A Better Fiber
Besides having a healthy conscience, there's a few other reasons why you should love organic cotton as much as we do.
For one, natural cotton has wicking properties that can better absorb colour in the manufacturing process—especially natural dyes, like the ones we've used here. Organic cotton isn't stripped of its natural wax, giving it a characteristic smoothness and weight. It's hypoallergenic so it won't cause skin irritation. And it's more durable; organic cotton fibres are longer than conventionally grown ones—important if you're wearing them on your feet all day.
Any crop that's referred to as "white gold" obviously isn't doing a small amount of damage each year. Tens of millions of tonnes of conventionally cotton are produced every single year for an industry worth billions of dollars.
So when it comes to cotton, "labels" matter. With organic cotton, you can do good, look good and sleep better at night knowing you're contributing to a better world. And we think that's pretty rad.
Words - Julia Crawford