Cotton makes up 40 percent of all fibre sold in the world, and it also consumes 25 percent of the world's insecticides, so choosing organic makes a big difference.
Cotton is a huge part of our existence: it's in clothing, towels, tampons, sheets, and baby's nappies. Conventional cotton cultivation also uses 10 percent of the world's pesticides, with he Environmental Protection Agency saying seven of the latter used on cotton are “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens. Not only are these chemicals sprayed onto crops from the air, meaning they easily drift to other crops and waterways, but many remain in the products long after you purchase and use them.
Organic cotton is grown without pesticides, insecticides or toxic fertilisers. To become certified, Australian Certified Organic (ACO) explains, “A cotton operation has to have been managed in accordance with the organic standards for more than three years.” Spinning, yarning, dyeing and garmenting must also be certified organic if the final product is to attain certification; because this process can be challenging, you might see products “made with organic cotton” rather than being “certified organic”. To ensure this is true, the ACO have a verification program called “made with certified organic fibre” - look for this when shopping.
Vege Threads use 100 percent GOTS certified organic cotton dyed with ACO dyes. As a brand, they value slow living and an inclusive culture, collaborating with different creatives each season. www.vegethreads.com
Moonbird go the extra mile with complete transparency for their organic cotton sleepwear, providing links to the Fairtrade-certified Indian manufacturers they use on their website. www.moonbird.com.au
Made ethically in Australia, sustainable fashion label Pure Pod uses organic textiles and low-impact, natural dyes. www.purepod.com.au
JOYN connects Fairtrade artisans in India with the fashion world, creating jobs, joy, and beautiful handmade products. www.threadharvest.com.au
Bhumi - “mother earth” in Sanskrit – makes underwear, clothes, bedding, and towels from 100 percent GOTS certified organic cotton, and packaged with recycled materials. www.bhumi.com.au
Quirky sleepwear label ALAS uses certified organic cotton fabric, and is made in Fairtrade factories in India. www.alasthelabel.com
Amanda Rootsey is an eco model, Gentle-Living Coach and founder of Shine From Within, giving teenage girls the tools and confidence to shine. www.amandarootsey.com.au