The world is a big place. So, it's easy to forget that we share it with over 7.5 billion other people. It's even easier to ignore the impact that many can have on a planet that is said to only hold the capacity to comfortably sustain around 1.9 billion people. (That was the population about a hundred years ago, by the way.)
We often hear people say that they can't change things on their own – that they're only one person. But we like to believe that every small step we take contributes to a more sustainable future for new generations to enjoy. That's one reason we decided to focus on building collections from 100% organic and sustainable cotton. Cotton is the most common natural fiber used in apparel manufacturing today. Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest on the environment.
Here are five reasons why we committed:
- Organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91% compared to regularly grown cotton. Procuring cotton from certified sustainable farmers could have a massive impact on reducing the fashion industry's water footprint. And because organic cotton is often grown in areas where rainfall is heavy, we can feel good about actively supporting water conservation techniques.
- Conventional cotton farming often relies on high amounts of pesticides and chemicals. In contrast, organic farmers have a vested interest in keeping the environment safe and they do so by actively conserving water and sustaining healthy soils through natural techniques and lower impact additives. This also helps to protect local workers and residents from toxic chemicals that could harm their health over the long term.
- Although producing cotton has a smaller greenhouse gas footprint than polyester, it still uses fertilizers that release nitrous oxide. Organic cotton farmers rely on natural components like manure and compost to improve soil fertility, reducing levels of nitrogen and phosphorus compared to conventional farming techniques.
- Social conditions in developing countries that farm cotton can be poor. And cotton isn't an easy crop to grow there – where the impacts of climate change, high prices for seed and growing competition can result in unfavorable trade agreements. Organic cotton farmers and factories often offer safer working conditions for their employees.
- Research studies have suggested that pesticide usage would decrease by 98% if all farming were organic! That's a pretty big impact on a very big world.