Some call me the most premier fabric there is. I am rather omnipresent in your lives. However, lately I have begun to be called the dirtiest crop in the world. This makes me really sad! I am widely grown in India since times immemorial. Today over 6 million farmers grow me in India annually. And growing me is not an easy task. So what made me the dirtiest crop you ask? Where do I even begin!
I am a widely consumed crop. With such an ever increasing demand, Human started getting greedy. He started adopting the system of mono-cropping.
What is mono-cropping? Reusing the exact same soil to plant me over and over again. This makes my buddy Soil, weak. She is unable to support healthy plant growth and that causes many diseases for me.
To curb this, Human had another idea. Science – chemicals – insecticides, pesticides, fungicides. Let me tell you some numbers here, for perspective -
My pain doesn’t just stop at the farming stage. I am sprayed with herbicides and then plucked out of the plant via machinery. This again impacts Soil’s productivity!
Then I am sent to the factories for production into garments. Here over 8000 synthetic chemicals are used for cleaning, washing, bleaching me, as well as for other processes like dyeing and printing. Not all these chemicals are washed off. They remain in the garments and sometimes cause irritation and rashes to your skin. Some traces of toxic dyes can even be absorbed through the skin!
With the amount of trust I know you guys have in me, this is really embarrassing and sad for me.
In the recent years, some Good Human, has chosen to propagate my pristine sister Organic Cotton.
To grow her Good Human uses natural techniques like crop rotation, cover crops, organic fertilizers and beneficial insects. The use of harmful pesticides is completely eliminated.
This also helps maintain Soil’s health. It turns her into a carbon ‘sink’ removing CO2 from the atmosphere – AKA less greenhouse gas emissions – AKA helping combat climate change.
My sister also requires less irrigation as Good Human chooses to utilize rain water instead. By eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, Good Human also keeps our waterways and drinking water as well as Air and Soil safe and clean.
After months of careful cultivation, she is carefully handpicked, without the use of chemicals or machinery.
What happens to Organic Cotton at the garment production stage you ask? Only natural oils, potato starch and other natural compounds are allowed. No chlorine based chemicals are allowed in her production. She is not treated with any nasty chemicals and is free of allergens.
This is our story. I wish all Humans choose the path of Good Human and choose to use Organic Cotton. This will help enhance the health of humans, animals and natural resources around the world. We need to make a choice today, for ourselves, our children and their future.