Why Choose Organic Cotton Clothing & Textiles

Being that I share organic clothing and other organic textile products here, I was thinking we should look at why…

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  • Conventional cotton (non-certified organic) is cotton that may be grown with pesticides. First of all, you obviously don’t want your skin exposed to chemicals and secondly, the use of said pesticides is rampant in cotton. Traditionally grown cotton accounts for a quarter or more of the world’s pesticide use. By choosing organic, you’re cutting that number down.
  • After conventional cotton is grown, it’s processed with even more chemicals.
  • Kids in particular are very affected by the chemicals and pesticides around them because their bodies are smaller and newly developing and they can’t detox pesticides as well as adults.
  • Conventional cotton pollutes both groundwater, and factory pollution pollutes the rest of our world (think our clean air).
  • Consider the workers who are exposed to the conventional cotton process.

Benefits of organic cotton:

  • Healthier for your skin and body. It’s never good to have your body exposed to pesticides and chemicals.
  • Healthier for our planet; organic cotton requires less irrigation, keeps chemicals out of our water (great for fish, turtles, and more), builds stronger soil, and promotes healthy farming practices.
  • Dyes used for organic fabrics tend to be natural, plant based dyes, vs. odd chemical colors you can’t pronounce.
  • Organic cotton farming is void of genetically altered cotton seeds.
  • Organic cotton is cleaner and safer for the workers who grow and process cotton.

To learn more visit one of the following sites:

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  1. Josee says

    While I agree with the benefits of organic cotton that you listed, wouldn’t washing remove pesticides and chemicals in conventional cotton clothing?

  2. Jennifer says

    Actually I should have clarified – there’s probably very little to no pesticide residue left in clothing – depending on which studies you believe – some say some residue is left, others say nope. However cotton batting used for stuff such as a mattress does contain pesticide residue. The bigger issue with clothing or say cloth diapers is related to my note above, “After conventional cotton is grown, it’s processed with even more chemicals.”

    Multiple chemicals like silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, softeners and formaldehyde (to name a few) are used to treat conventional cotton of all kinds – clothes, bedding, tampons, etc. Extra processing puts more of a burden on the environment over and beyond the damage already inflicted due to growing with pesticides. You cannot wash out residue or chemicals without many many washings and some chemicals like permanent press never wash out.

    Research shows that toxins and fumes released by items such as a baby mattresses are released in larger quantities early on, soon after unwrapping. You can limit exposure to these fumes if you take the plastic off well before your baby is due. Or before people sit on a couch, use a toy, etc – but most folks don’t do this. Plus some fumes can still linger, even after unwrapping, such as PVC plastic polyurethane foam and flame retardants.

    The issues of organic cotton go far beyond simply being able to wash pesticides and chemicals out of items (if you can) though – those pesticides and chemicals may be less frequent in your home but they’re still in your world – the air, soil and water which indirectly come right back to us. The best way to prevent pesticides and chemicals is to increase the amount of people who avoid them altogether.

  3. Chandra says

    So if one were to buy clothes second hand in the name of being more green and eco-friendly there’s still a risk of toxicity? Shame. :/

  4. Jennifer says

    @Chandra – I’m not sure I understand your comment. What is it you’re trying to say about toxic clothes?

  5. Chandra says

    Sorry, I was just voicing my disappointment as I recently bought a load of clothes in charity shops in effort to be more green. (recycle) I didn’t realize that even though it is green to shop like this, I’m still at risk of pesticide exposure, as the second hand clothes aren’t organic. Is there any sure way to get rid of all the bad stuff by washing them?

  6. Gina says

    Great article! Could you by chance tell me some more information regarding purchasing organic tulle or organza? I want to make a bed canopy for my niece, a toddler and want to use organic material. Google searches haven’t been much help with exception to leading me to you.
    Thank you so much!!!!

  7. Jennifer Chait says

    I think as green as you might get would be 100% Cotton Sateen or maybe Hemp and Tencel, but while shiny to a point, they’re not tulle. Used may be a good green choice too, but as of this time, I’m not sure there is an organic tulle dealer.


  1. […] fabric is so processed that there’s no pesticide residue left in the first place.   However, the clothing is processed with even more chemicals and petroleum-based dyes.  Not to mention the effects on the workers who […]

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