At Blue Fish we are committed to using organic materials whenever possible. To understand why we feel so strongly about making organic clothing, we thought we would tell you a little about organic cotton farming.
What does organic mean?
Organic is a term you hear a lot these days. It can be used very loosely, but when we say it we mean something has been “certified organic”. This is important because the product has been submitted to some very stringent standards.
These standards include:
- Avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs not on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (e.g., pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, etc.), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge
- Use of farmland that has been free from prohibited synthetic chemicals for a number of years (often, three or more);
- Keeping detailed written production and sales records
- Maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products;
- Undergoing periodic on-site inspections. (wikipedia)
The importance of buying organic starts in the field. The impact on farmers’ lives who have chosen to raise organic crops is huge! Currently, traditional cotton agriculture uses twenty-five percent of insecticides and ten percent of the world’s pesticides, but represents only three percent of the world’s crops. Growing cotton with pesticides is bad for the farmer’s health, so often farming is done mainly by men. If you remove the chemicals and pesticides from the equation, farming can be family affair with very little detrimental health factors. This has proven to be the case in many parts of the world.
Organic cotton is never treated with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other dangerous chemical agents. Additionally, no chemicals are applied in the harvesting, cleaning, spinning, or knitting of organic cotton. This also means that the chemicals used in conventional cotton aren’t being released into the air and surface water during farming or processing. Beneficial insects keep other bugs under control, crop rotation maintains fertility, and weeds are battled with precision tilling. When the first frost of winter comes, the cotton readies itself for picking according to a seasonal rhythm.
Organic cotton is grown from the heart as well as the soil by farmers who care about the earth and everyone on it.
Why Blue Fish buys organic:
In 1995 Jennifer Barclay first learned of the damaging effect of traditionally grown cotton on a global scale, and changed our production habits immediately. We began to use organically grown cotton materials whenever possible. We are happy to do our part to help support a healthier people and planet. We feel responsible for the clothing we make and we want our customers to be healthy and happy too!
Reasons to buy organic:
- You are buying a product that is good for you
- You are doing something good for the environment
- You are doing something good for farmers and producers
- The durability and quality is much higher
Reasons to wear organic:
Most people haven’t thought about how much our bodies can absorb from our clothing. Don’t forget your skin is your largest organ, and toxins used on your clothes will be absorbed into your lymph system. Clothes that have been treated with chemicals and materials that were treated with pesticides can have quite a bit of toxins on them when you wear them.
More and more people are developing allergies and chemical sensitivities to these toxins. If you have an allergy you may benefit from organic cotton clothing, as conventional cotton can retain many harmful chemical residues. But even if you don’t have sensitive skin or allergies, organic cotton will just feel better against your skin!
Feel the difference!
Regardless of your reasons for choosing organic clothing – you made the right choice! We challenge you to feel the difference today!
Resources & Additional Reading
http://www.panna.org and http://www.pan-uk.org Want scary facts on how pesticides affect your life? The Pesticide Action Network is working to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound alternatives.
http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm The official website of the U.S. Govt. National Organic Program.
http://www.sustainablecotton.org Set up in 1994, this organization works to educate and promote the use of organically grown cotton.
http://www.emagazine.com E – The Environmental Magazine, the Nation’s only non-profit, independent consumer publication on the environment.
http://www.newdream.org A guide to sustainable living laid out in an enjoyable format.