Organic Cotton - the most sustainable choice for your baby?
Is organic cotton really worth it? Is it really a more ethically responsible choice? We deep dive into the differences between organic cotton and its non-organic counterpart, and why parents are choosing organic for their babies
First things first - what does organic cotton actually mean?
Organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides, or genetic modification. The 1% of all cotton products made from organic sources are generally handled with more care, produced more consciously and are of better quality that those made with regular cotton.
Why should I choose organic cotton?
“Why not?” might be a more pertinent question!
Organic cotton tends to have longer and smoother fibres than conventionally grown cotton (which gets damaged in the production process), making it is softer and more durable. Coupled with its remarkable breathability and freedom from toxic chemicals, it’s also safer for baby’s delicate skin.
Choosing organic cotton products helps protect the environment and support a safer lifestyle for garment workers. General health improves dramatically and the instances of cancers, neurological diseases and birth defects drops significantly when workers are not breathing in pesticides or using local water supplies contaminated with the chemicals. Finally, organic cotton biodegrades in under 5 months, and as it does so, won’t leech toxins into the earth. Since organic cotton is naturally durable and doesn’t need the chemicals soaked into regular cotton to make it last, it can safely be returned to the soil as compost.
Oh, ok.. so how do I know I’m buying organic cotton?
First off, read the product description to ensure the item is composed of 100% organic cotton.
Next, check the certification. There should be wording or symbols that declare the rigorous testing the fabric has gone through. The most reliable and trusted certification is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). GOTS covers not only the organic nature of the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading, and distributing of textiles, but also traceability, ensuring that environmental and social standards—such as safe and hygienic working conditions, no workplace discrimination, and fair pay rates—are adhered to. We’re proud to state that at our Rocks in our Pockets textile suppliers, the entire process from growing the cotton to printing the fabric is covered by GOTS certification*.
Why is it more expensive?
At the time of writing (December 2022), organic fibres had increased in price by 100% since March 2022. It takes real commitment for a company to persevere with organic choices!
Without powerful pesticides, yield is lower and less cotton is produced, driving up demand and therefore the price. Organic cotton is also often picked by hand, which is much slower and more expensive.
The GOTS certification ensures that workers are paid a living wage, which naturally costs more than underpaying staff.
Third-party certification such as GOTS is expensive and needs to be renewed often.
Intrigued? Find out more from the experts below!
Read more here:
*with the exception of The Big Throw, which is made primarily from recycled cotton in the USA