In an increasingly fragile world, consumers are paying attention to their carbon footprint more now than ever. We have changed the way we eat by eating less meat & consuming more organic foods to decrease our environmental impact. We have changed the way we purchase by using less plastic & recycling more than ever to reduce pollution. We have changed the way we use transportation by driving more electric cars & using public transportation to limit our carbon footprint. But do we ever stop to ask ourselves how the clothing we choose to wear impacts the planet and, in turn, ourselves? The truth is, wearing clothing that is sourced from eco-friendly & organic materials is just as important to preserving our planet as any other initiative. That’s why at IAMWE, we choose better for our planet by using sustainable materials, like opting to use 100% organic cotton for all of our specialty tees.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is a certain type of crop that is produced and certified to adhere to organic agricultural standards. The production of organic cotton maintains healthy ecosystems and benefits people by using all natural processes. Here are the 4 major benefits to using organic cotton vs standard cotton:
1. Organic Cotton Uses 88% Less Water Compared to Standard Cotton
What an eye-popping statistic! Over 97% of the Earth’s water is unusable salt water, resulting in less than 3% of usable fresh water. Only 1% of the earth’s water is readily accessible for usage. Fresh water may be the most important commodity we have on planet earth. Yet by 2025, every 2 in 3 people in the world are likely to face water shortages. Not only does organic cotton use substantially less water to grow, 80% is rain-fed, drastically reducing the need for additional water sources. Standard Cotton is often grown in water-scarce countries, even furthering the stress & demand it creates on our fragile eco-system. Did you know a standard t-shirt takes around 2,700 liters of water to produce? And yet consumers are unaware of the environmental stress they are causing by supporting clothing made from standard cotton. We owe it our planet and ourselves by supporting companies who manufacture using organic cotton
2. Organic Cotton Uses 62% Less Energy Compared to Standard Cotton
Producing cotton for clothing consumes a lot of resources & energy, often from countries that cannot afford it. Standard cotton production leads to increased CO2 emission and is less efficient. More is required in maintaining these crops as farmers must keep the soil fertile, rely on tractors, provide energy for irrigation, etc… Due to the use of sustainable farming practices, organic cotton uses 62% less energy than standard cotton and its carbon footprint.
3. Zero Harmful Chemicals Used in Organic Cotton
Organic cotton crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world! Standard cotton uses about 16% of the worlds insecticides and 7% of the worlds pesticides. This is an insane amount for one crop! These chemicals seep into the water supply which poison our lakes, rivers and waterways – 46% of lakes are too contaminated for fishing or aquatic life in the U.S. alone! Pesticide residue has been discovered in foods, cattle and even breast milk. Non-organic cotton even causes skin irritations, rashes, headaches, & dizziness. We wouldn’t eat food knowing it has harmful chemicals, so why would we wear clothes that use harmful chemicals?
4. Promotes Safe Work & Improved Livelihoods For Farmers of Organic Cotton
Growing organic cotton keeps farmers & their families safe because they are not exposed to toxic chemicals found on the field or their food and water supply. As we pointed out in point 3, standard cotton is treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, & GMOs. These pesticides poison farmers all over the world. Factory workers have to breathe in these dangerous fumes during the manufacturing process. According to the World Health Organization, up to 20,000 deaths each year are caused by pesticide poisoning. Here in the U.S. alone, more than 10,000 farmers die from cancers related to chemicals. This is simply unacceptable.
How We Can Help
These are the 4 major benefits of using organically grown cotton vs standard cotton. However, there are many more reasons. Only less than 1% of all cotton crops are grown organically. This is simply unacceptable & we must and can do better. That’s why here at IAMWE, we source 100% organic cotton for our T-shirts. As a company that strives to provide the best products and support for our customers, our team at IMAWE feel we have a social obligation to our planet to continue improving our eco-system. Help us join the fight.