All About Organic Cotton
Here at Kabode our bedding grows on trees. Yes, you read that right, and no, we haven’t gone completely mad! We’re passionate about doing the best for the environment and for your kids, so our bedding is made from certified organic cotton - a natural fibre grown on trees in China.
Of course, you’re already familiar with cotton, you’re probably wearing it right now. Perhaps you’re sitting in a chair covered with it, and you probably slept in sheets made from it last night. But have you ever really thought about where all this cotton comes from, how it is grown, and the impact that has on the environment? This everyday material is produced in such huge volumes and used for so many things that its footprint on the world is giant. We need to consider the source of all this cotton and how it is produced, and choose to use cotton that is not negatively damaging the environment.
Is cotton thirsty?
Much of the world’s cotton is grown in areas that are water-deprived and suffer from regular droughts. Cotton production is thirsty, and can use huge amounts of water. Astonishingly, it can take 2,700 litres of water to make the cotton required to make a single T-Shirt! So even if you remember to turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, and only boil enough water for your cuppa, you could be consuming this unseen volume of water regularly when you buy items made of non-organic cotton.
Organic cotton is produced in a way that saves precious water. Most organic cotton is grown in areas that use rainwater to feed the crop, which means that farmers don’t have to extract water from the ground, meaning that local communities don’t have to choose between their business or drinking water.
Organic farming also creates healthy soil, which soaks up water during floods and holding it through times of drought like a sponge. Rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner too, because there’s no nasty synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used in the process.
Eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers not only keeps the water cleaner, but produces a cleaner crop. Organic farmers avoid the use of chemicals and instead use age old natural methods such as crop rotation to control pests and disease. This protects the surrounding ecosystems, as well as the farm workers who handle and care for the cotton crop. Conventional, non-organic cotton alone is responsible for 16% of all insecticides sold worldwide.
The chemicals used in non-organic farming don’t disappear by the time the fibres are turned into a product and find their way home with you. Our skin is our biggest organ, so cloaking it in fabrics treated with toxic and hazardous chemicals is obviously not great! Organic cotton is hypoallergenic and toxic chemical free, so it is safe for sensitive skin and those with eczema and other allergies. Babies have extremely sensitive skin, so using organic cotton for their bedding only makes sense, as they will spend so many hours cosily wrapped up in it.
Who grew yours?
As well as not contributing to water pollution, growing cotton organically has other benefits for farmers, their families and the communities around them.
Organic cotton is always grown alongside other crops, these alternative crops give farming communities a plentiful and reliable food source, as well as diversity in their diet giving them vital nutrients. They can also be an alternative source of income and a fall back in case of a poor season.
Farmers remain in control when they farm organically. Genetically Modified (GM) seeds are banned in organic farming, so rather than be reliant on a handful of GM companies, organic farmers work with the environment in a long term, sustainable way by saving the seeds from healthy crop year after year.
What does GOTS mean?
You might have seen the phrase ‘GOTS certified cotton’ on your clothing. GOTS stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard and cotton that is GOTS certified has been proven to meet a strict standard. Kabode uses GOTS certified cotton in all of our bedding.
Sustainable, ethical, environmentally friendly - there are all sorts of phrases used by marketers to make products sound like a good choice. However the definition of these words is subjective and difficult to measure or prove, so you can’t always trust that the products making these claims meet the standards you might expect.
The Global Organic Textile Standard has a clearly defined, transparent set of criteria that must be met in order for a manufacturer to use the badge. The standard covers the organic fibres, ecological and social criteria, all stages of cotton processing and supply chain and third party certification.
When you choose to buy a product, such as Kabode bedding, which uses GOTS certified cotton you can be assured that it has met a rigorous set of standards and is truly the best choice of organic textile.
Here at Kabode organic cotton isn’t just part of our range, it’s in everything we make. We feel very strongly about the need to protect the environment for our children and yours, give them the kindest fabrics to sleep in, support the farmers who grow our resources and ensure that our supply chain is kind to the environment from start to finish. We want a happy planet and happy kids, so using only GOTS certified organic cotton is a no brainer!