I just recently gave myself a bold mission: make my entire closet organic. Yes, budget or no budget, I’m getting even more serious about my health. And my goal is to transform and ramp up the whole thing – beginning with what I put on my body, as well as what I am putting in it. I want every single piece of clothing I own to be safe, which, for a thrifty gal like me, is quite the mission and may take a few months (years?) to complete and perfect. But I’m well on my way – and I’ve started with the most important place to sport organic clothing – our underwear!
Yes, choosing organic underwear is the first – and perhaps most important – step to creating a totally environmentally friendly closet and preventing against irritation and disease. As someone who used to get frequent lady problems (kidney infections, pre-cancerous cells in my uterus – overall lots of time spent not having fun!) starting from “the ground up” this way is a great idea, since many dyes and chemicals can irritate us in our most sensitive areas. And if you happen to be an animal lover, parent, healthy human or are concerned with environmental issues, take note: wearing organic fabrics has a major positive impact on your health and the health of our planet.
“About 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide goes to cotton crops. In 2003, that amounted to about 55 million pounds of pesticides being sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton.”
Here are some good reasons to go organic:
- Organic cotton is excellent for the tender, developing skin of a baby – or anyone with sensitive skin. Organic cotton clothing is softer than conventional cotton clothing because the production of organic cotton does not involve the use of chemicals, so it causes fewer cases of allergies.
- About 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide goes to cotton crops. In 2003, that amounted to about 55 million pounds of pesticides being sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton, according to the Organic Trade Association.
- Cotton crops have been plagued by numerous diseases and pests over the years, including bacterial blight, tropical cotton rust, verticillium wilt, reniform nematode, abutilon mosaic, ascochvta blight, southern blight, lef spot, bollworm, white fly, crown gall, lint degradation, anthracnose, leaf crumple, leaf curl, leaf mottle, leaf roll, areolate mildew, powdery mildew, black root rot, boll rot, sting nematode, charcoal rot, escobilla, stem canker, leaf spot, lint contamination, terminal stunt, cotton rust, southwestern cotton rust, anthocyanosis, blue disease, small leaf, psylosis, and phyllody. It also ranks fourth in the list of most heavily fertilized crops.
- Organic cotton is grown using organic means without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides, therefore helping to improve the quality of the land, prevent water contamination, and conserve biodiversity. A field must be pesticide free for three years to be certified organic.
- In organic farming, the ground is intensely detoxified before planting or harvest, organic fertilizer is used to produce the crop, the seeds are untreated and the soil has more water retention. Weeds are manually removed instead of mechanically or with pesticides.
- The eco-friendly processing that does not compromise workers’ health and helps reduce water and electric use and toxic runoff, like non-chlorine bleach, silicon-free softeners and low impact, azo-free dyes.
You are closer than you think to the farms, chemical factories and waste treatment facilities that handle toxic chemicals used on your hoodie and tee-shirt. By spending your hard earned money on thoughtfully made, organic products, you are using your consumer power wisely and adding your voice to a powerful movement.
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