Five Good Reasons to Buy Organic Cotton

Jun 29, 2010 9:30 AM ET

ElegRoo Bolg

Why take the time to seek out and pay a bit more for organic cotton when regular, run-of-the-mill cotton products are so easily available?

It all comes down to one thing ... environment.

The cotton industry is among the world's biggest users of pesticide. Cotton takes up only 3% of the world’s farmland, yet uses 25% of the world’s pesticides. That’s why choosing organic cotton products can make an exponentially bigger difference in terms of positive impact.

Organic cotton means less pesticide contamination for:

The Ecosystem. A whopping 90% of the pesticides sprayed on mass-produced cotton leaches into the soil, groundwater, and is released into the air.

People and Animals. All these pesticides in the earth are absorbed in turn by living creatures — in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and in the plants we eat.

Our Food. Not only does pesticide contaminate our fruits, veggies and herbs — but food animals consume pesticide-tainted food and water. So their milk, meat, and eggs are tainted too.

Another problem is fertilizers: in the U.S., nearly a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers is used to produce one pound of raw cotton. And nearly a pound of raw cotton goes into making a single tee-shirt.

Through leaching and runoff, synthetic fertilizers foul our freshwater habitats, wells, and rivers. And even before the BP oil gusher, the Gulf near New Orleans suffered an annual "dead spot" largely the result of fertilizer run-off from the farms along the Mississippi.

Organic farming instead uses natural fertilizers that nearly eliminate pollution, runoff, and leaching. We're talking hug impact!

Switching to organic cotton also prevents:

Chemical Allergies and Illnesses. Non-organic cotton still has chemical residue from pesticides, and our skin absorbs these toxins. This can cause irritation, rashes, hives, breathing difficulties, eye problems and aggravation of other existing conditions. For people with sensitive skin, organic cotton is a godsend.

Research has shown that pesticides block our hormonal and endocrine systems, wreaking havoc with our health. And 47% of pesticides have been identified as potential cancer-causing agents.

Social Injustice. Cotton workers are traditionally among the most economically challenged populations, and suffer the most exposure to these harmful pesticides. In some countries, pregnant women, nursing mothers and even children work for cotton producers and suffer health and developmental problems as a result. Poor health is one of the factors that keeps impoverished people trapped in the cycle of poverty.

Here are some truly great organic-cotton products Elegant Roots has found:

Organic Cotton Baby Ensemble by Dimples
Handmade Extra Soft Organic Cotton Blanket by Marcel Miller

All of Elegant Roots’ items come with complementary eco-friendly gift packaging … which includes a lovely (reusable) 100% undyed, organic cotton ribbon!