Why Organic Clothing is Good for the Earth and Our Bodies
June 23rd, 2023
Have you ever heard of the Aral Sea? Probably not.
Once the 4th largest lake in the world, it has now almost ceased to be — primarily because of cotton cultivation. The United Nations has referred to it as one of the most severe environmental catastrophes our planet has experienced.
Producing one kilogram of cotton requires approximately 10,000 liters of water, which equates to around 2,700 liters for a single cotton t-shirt. Consequently, when purchasing cotton clothing, you are effectively utilizing water from the location where the cotton was cultivated and processed.
Cotton is also the crop most heavily sprayed with chemicals in the world, endangering not only the lives of farmers growing the crop but also for you and I — wearers of the fiber.
This partly explains growing advocates actively embracing eco-conscious choices in recent years. Among the numerous favored textiles, organic cotton reigns supreme. The answer as to why lies in the benefits of organic cotton clothing.
Organic cotton is softer and more breathable than regular cotton.
While conventional cotton is predominantly harvested using machines, organic cotton is exclusively hand-picked. But what does that mean?
Simply put, working using one’s hands ensures that no fibers are weakened, damaged, or broken during the harvesting process. Moreover, being free from pesticides and pollutants further contributes to the velvety look and feel of organic cotton.
If you have sensitive skin, you’d benefit heaps from switching to organic cotton clothing! In fact, you don’t even need to have sensitive skin to understand that some fibers might cause anything from minor inconveniences to full-on allergy symptoms, infections, itching, and rashes.
In the process of choosing something good for your body, you’re also benefiting the farmers and the planet.
Research conducted in Benin, Ethiopia, and Senegal revealed that 42% of farmers exhibited symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning within one year. Because organic cotton farming promotes the use of natural pest control methods, this problem is eliminated. Organic farming practices such as crop rotation also help maintain soil fertility, enhance biodiversity, and support a more sustainable ecosystem.
The benefits of organic cotton clothing are multifold. Why then, are consumers still donning clothes made from conventional cotton?
One of the biggest reasons is the price. At The Beautiful Earth, we really do empathize with this. “I understand that fast fashion is cheaper, easier, and sometimes your only choice with the money that you may have to spend,” says Bethany, founder of The Beautiful Earth.
Truth is, most of us want to support our planet by making conscious choices, but oftentimes, the price tag deters us from doing so. And while this isn’t something that’s always in our control, we’d urge you to think of it this way:
When you’re choosing sustainable or organic cotton, you’re essentially supporting everybody in the supply chain. You’re also investing in a product that will last you for years to come.
In contrast to synthetic materials, cotton doesn’t tend to pill. Pilling refers to the formation of those pesky round balls on the fabric's surface, resulting from friction between the fibers.
Organic cotton, being a 100% natural fabric, is inherently resistant to pilling.
Any pilling that may occur on cotton garments typically disappears during the washing process, unlike nylon, polyester, or normal cotton, where pills tend to remain visible once formed.
Moreover, let’s not forget just how versatile organic cotton is. It is an excellent choice for dressmaking, as its strong fibers and threads make it suitable for a wide range of clothing styles. Designs are also becoming progressively more chic and contemporary. Until a few years back, opting for organic cotton typically meant purchasing plain, simple apparel with minimal prints and patterns.
Today, you’d be spoilt for choice. At The Beautiful Earth we believe that living sustainably doesn’t have to be basic or boring. Hence, we’ve come up with a range of products that are not just good for the Earth but also trendy and capable of being restyled. After all, few things are as disappointing as diligently saving up to invest in a clothing item only to have it go out of style the following season.
Naturally there will come a time when the life of your organic cotton t-shirt is nearing its end. But there’s good news on that front, too. Under favorable conditions, 100% pure organic cotton can biodegrade in approximately five months which is way lesser than the time most other fibers would take to decompose.
While it is true that no fiber can be considered 100% sustainable, organic cotton clothing remains a superior eco-friendly choice compared to conventional cotton and synthetic fabrics.
The significance of organic clothing, aside from its environmental and social impact, lies in the noticeable impact it can have on the body's functioning compared to synthetic clothing.
Rather than relying solely on others' statements, we encourage you to personally experience the difference. Try wearing organic cotton, including inner garments, for a week and observe how your body feels. Then switch to something tight and synthetic and compare. The contrast in comfort and ease of bodily movements will become apparent because the material that envelops your body plays a significant role.
THE BEAUTIFUL EARTH is a global, conscious clothing + healthy essentials brand.
Founded by filmmaker + artist Bethany Ashton Wolf, Bethany is striving to design and create organic, sustainable, recycled, vegan, ethically-sourced clothing + essentials that are good for the earth, our bodies, and our well being.
Organic hoodies, organic sweatpants, recycled beanies, organic trucker hats, organic tees, supima cotton t-shirts, stainless steel water canteens, water bottles, and bamboo to-go cups that are all BPA-free are just some of the products in her line that she is focusing on that bring her customers elevated streetwear that is cool to wear and cool for the planet.
Our blogs here at The Beautiful Earth delve into health and wellness, mental well-being, healthy beauty, healthy home-living, and mind, body, spirit topics that help us all find ways to live a more conscious lifestyle overall.