As an environmentalist, I’m a huge fan of sustainable clothing, especially organic cotton clothing. My biggest issue is that organic cotton is so much more expensive that the cheap clothes that fast fashion keeps throwing in our face. It’s actually hard for a budget conscious person like myself to spend more on sustainable clothing, even though I know it is better for me and the environment. But after learning more about toxins in our clothing I’ve realize that even though organic cotton may be a little more expensive, it’s so worth the price. And if you shop at the right time you can even get some great deals!
Why I’m willing to pay more for organic cotton clothing
I wasn’t always willing to pay more. For years I knew all the reasons I should do it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay more money for organic clothing.
Then I watched The True Cost. This documentary completely changed the way I buy clothing. Not only did it help me understand how our clothing is made, it helped me understand the environmental degradation that comes with making our clothes.
Did you know that conventional cotton negatively impacts farmers?
Farmers rely on healthy crops. If they can’t keep the crop healthy they have to move onto cheaper crops.
I really love this interview with Texas organic cotton farmer, Larhea Pepper. Here is an excerpt:
What are the long term effects of this increasing pressure on the land?
We are already seeing the impact of high-intensity agriculture – the nutrients available in the soil are depleted rather than renewed creating, in reality, a ‘drug addict’: this year it takes ‘x’ amount of petroleum-based fertilizer to generate the yields required to be profitable and next year, they need ‘x’ amount more… At some point, the resources and the cost of the water, fuel and fertilizers become cost prohibitive for cotton – and you see agriculture shift from cotton to more profitable crops in many instances.
Did you know that organic cotton has a positive impact on the environment and communities?
Larhea Pepper goes on to talk about the hidden costs of conventional cotton that aren’t realized by us normal shoppers.
In a world increasingly motivated by the bottom line profit, what impact does this have on farmers in clothing supply chains, both in Texas and around the world?
The production of conventional cotton has a lot of hidden costs that are not fully realized in the cost of the fiber – costs of water contamination, negative impacts on bio- diversity, damage to other non-GMO crops in the area, loss of local jobs and other negative impacts on community, as well as the negative costs on the health and well-being of people living in the farming communities.
Did you know that organic cotton is free of pesticides?
Larhea Pepper has a personal story about the true cost of farming with pesticides. Her husband grew up on a chemically intensive farm in south Texas and his father died of Leukemia at the age of 57. Her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor – a glioblastoma multiforme – when he was just 48 and died two years later.
This is what we put on our skin when we buy conventional cotton! I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of keeping pesticides off of my skin- the largest organ in our bodies.
My favorite affordable 100% cotton clothing brands:
It’s important to me to spend my money wisely. I like to think that I vote with my dollars. I want to live in a world that is environmentally friendly so I choose to spend my money on affordable organic cotton brands.
These are my favorite affordable organic cotton brands:
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