Since September 2017, we are offering Econscious t-shirts made exclusively of organic cotton, bringing you eco-friendly products manufactured with the highest possible environmental and vegan standards, in combination with our 100% organic and vegan print inks. Our organic cotton is also GMO free and certified by USDA and GOTS. Moreover, the t-shirts are certified vegan by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Why Organic ? Here are the environmental benefits of organic cotton
- Organic cotton uses 71% less water and 62% less energy – The cotton grown organically is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. The absence of chemicals also means that water is cleaner and safer.
- A percentage of the sales is donated to environmental organizations – Our manufacturer donates a part of the sales to environmental non-profits that are working to restore, protect, and advocate for our home, planet earth.
- Contain absolutely no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Buying organic products ensures that zero of the proceeds of the t-shirt you are buying go to Monsanto.
- Reduce global warming – Organic farms pull CO2 out of the atmosphere as much as three times the rate of conventional farming practices and releases less CO2 into the atmosphere because it does not rely on chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Reversing climate change is achievable by farming organically, according to studies.
- Promote bio-diversity – Insect and bird life has been found to be as much as 50% greater on organic farms than conventional farms
- Social & Economic Benefits – Organic cotton promotes safe work & better livelihoods. Growing organic cotton keeps farmers and their families safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply. It also means farmers grow more than one crop which supplements their food and income.
Organic and vegan certifications
Our organic t-shirts are certified 100% organic and approved by the USDA under strict production and labeling requirements, including annual inspections by the certifier. The cotton is also certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Control Union (SKAL). Cotton clothing is only organic if it is certified to an organic cotton standard – we guarantee no greenwashing!
Shop without being complicit of animal cruelty – Our organic t-shirts does not use any animal derived fibers and are not tested on animals. Econscious, the manufacturer of our organic products, has partnered with PETA Approved Vegan to get certified 100% vegan and approved by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Our eco-friendly printing inks are also certified vegan and organic.
Cotton facts – how non-organic cotton is destroying our planet
- 20,000 liters of water is needed to produce a single t-shirt, according to WWF. 73% of global cotton harvest comes from irrigated land.
- Cotton covers only 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but uses 24% of the world’s insecticide and 16% of pesticides. Cotton is considered the world’s most polluting crop due to its heavy use of pesticides, according to Rodale Institute and WWF.
- Cotton agriculture is the second dirtiest industry in the world, second only the oil industry, according to Ecowatch.
- 77 million cotton workers suffer poisonings from pesticides each year. Growing cotton is a toxic business; it uses a lot of pesticides – putting in peril the lives of women, men and children in cotton farming communities. According to the World Health Organization up to 20,000 deaths each year are caused by pesticide poisoning in developing countries. In the US alone, more than 10,000 farmers die each year from cancers related to such chemicals. Eight of the top 10 pesticides most commonly used on U.S. conventionally produced cotton were classified as moderately to highly hazardous by the World Health Organization.
- Cotton’s pesticides are killing bees. On top of polluting our water and soil, the chemical products used in cotton crops include Neonicotinoids, which were linked to bees deaths. The insecticides used on cotton also include dangerous chemicals called Organophosphates, which were originally introduced by Nazi Germany as nerve poisons during World War II, before it was transformed into a pesticide. Studies find that both Neonicotinoids and Organophosphates contributes to killing bees, which is a fact now also recognized by the EPA.
- Birds decline – Pesticides used in cotton crops, like Neonicotinoids, are also killing at least 67 million of birds every year and are linked to birds decline, according to studies. It is estimated that of the roughly 10% of the birds exposed annually to pesticides on U.S. agricultural lands are killed. This staggering number is a conservative estimate that takes into account only birds that inhabit farmlands, and only birds killed outright by ingestion of pesticides. The full extent of bird fatalities due to pesticides is extremely difficult to determine because most deaths go undetected.
- 90% of the world’s cotton is genetically modified. More than 270,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since the introduction of Monsanto’s GMO cotton in just 11 years in India. Monsanto has pushed up prices of seeds by more than 8,000%, pushing the farmers to debt and financial ruin.
The importance of organic cotton
Wearing organic fabrics has a major positive impact on the health of our planet. Organic cotton is grown in a way that uses methods and materials that lessen the impact on our environment. A big effort in the organic movement is to use growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic cotton uses far less water too.
The main benefit of organic materials, however, is that the crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. These toxins are harmful to farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems.
Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. It is estimated that each year cotton producers use as much as 25 percent of the world’s insecticides; an incredible amount for one just one crop.
These chemicals can be deadly. Such pesticides poison farmers all over the world. Factory workers also have to breathe in their fumes during the manufacturing process.
Aldicarb, cotton’s second best-selling insecticide and most acutely poisonous to humans and wildlife, is still used in 25 countries, including the U.S., where 16 states reported it in their groundwater. The dangers are recognized by the EPA and they have signaled its upcoming phase out.
To make matters worse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also found that pesticides unintentionally kill at least 67 million birds annually in the U.S.
These chemicals seep into run-off water after heavy rains, poisoning lakes, rivers and waterways. Pesticide residue has been increasingly discovered in foods, farm animals and even breast milk. Not only are these carcinogens responsible for thousands of cases cancer in adults, they are particularly harmful to young children who can develop debilitating neurodevelopmental effects.
We even feel the harmful effects of non-organic cotton and fabrics in our daily lives. Irritated skin, rashes and even headaches and dizziness can be caused by the chemical residue trapped in the threads.
If our choices literally kill our farmers, destroy our rivers and streams and endanger our youth we have an obligation to consider organic along with style and fit. It’s that important.
The problem with genetically modified cotton and Monsanto
- More than 90% of the world’s cotton is genetically modified
- Conventional cotton is one of the top four GMO Crops.
- 95% of cotton seed market is controlled by GMO Giant Monsanto
By making the cotton crops resistant to pesticides using GMO, farmers are encouraged to use even more pesticides with little adverse effects to the crop. This makes an already toxic business potentially even more toxic for the environment.
The suicide rate among Indian cotton farmers has skyrocketed since the introduction of Monsanto’s BT cotton in 2002. The price of seeds has also skyrocketed, and with little alternate options, farmers are being stretched thin. About one Indian farmer killed himself every 30 minutes in 2009, for a grand total of 17,638 in that year alone. Their harvests are low and prices are high. The suicide phenomena has become known as “The GM Genocide”.
A number of social activist groups and studies proposed a link between genetically modified cotton and farmer suicides. Monsanto’s BT cotton was claimed to be responsible for farmer suicides. The BT cotton seeds from Monsanto cost 8000% more than ordinary ones. The higher costs forced many farmers into taking ever larger loans, often from private moneylenders charging exorbitant interest rates (60% a year). The moneylenders force farmers to sell their cotton to them at a price lower than it fetches on the market. According to activists, this created a source of debt and economic stress, ultimately suicides, among farmers. Increasing costs in farming associated with decreasing yields even with use of BT cotton seeds are often quoted cause of distress among farmers in central India.
Farmers are killing themselves so that we can have our GM cotton t-shirts and socks. It’s difficult to truly grasp the gravity of this matter, but the fact is—it’s happening now and it’s happening, in a large part, due to the GMO industry.
Environment impact of conventional cotton
Uzbekistan is a good example of the environmental destruction caused by cotton farming. Today, water levels in the Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, has been reduced to 10% of its area in the last 60 years due to conventional cotton.
Over time, the sea became over-salinated and laden with fertilizer and pesticides from the nearby fields. The Aral Sea’s surrounding soil, air, and water is heavily contaminated with pollutants from fertilizers and pesticides, driving extraordinary rates of tuberculosis, lung disease, and cancer among the population. This situation is creating a public health crisis and settling onto farm fields, contaminating the soil.
Read our blog article about Uzbekistan’s cotton to learn more.
Fair price for sustainability – why organic cotton is more expensive
When you buy organic cotton you are investing in water conservation, cleaner air, better soil and farmer livelihoods. Less than 1% of the cotton grown in the world is organic, so due to low offer and demand, the cost of organic cotton is therefore higher. However, with demand on the rise, more choices will become available.
Learn more about organic cotton
Today there are many of organizations working to educate people about the benefits of organic agricultural methods in an effort to promote the growth of organics globally.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ORGANIC COTTON:
- Organic Exchange: www.organicexchange.org
- Organic Farming Research Foundation: www.ofrf.org
- Organic Trade Associate: www.ota.org
- Pesticide Action Network: www.panna.org
- Rodale Institute: www.rodaleinstitute.org
- The Organic Center: www.organic-center.org
OUR SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE:
- Manufacturer’s FAQ – Econscious
- Most cotton we wear today is genetically modified
- Genetically modified farming statistics
- Monsanto dominate global seeds market
- The Seeds Of Suicide: how Monsanto destroys cotton farming
- The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops
- Cotton is a water wasting crop – World Wildlife (WWF)
- Organic cotton is better for the environment
- Cottoned On
- Mythbuster: Increased water use of organic cotton?
- Rodale Institute – Chemical cotton
- How Genetically Modified Cotton Is Taking Over
- Cotton Is the Second Dirtiest Industry in the World, Next to Big Oil
- It’s the Second Dirtiest Thing in the World—And You’re Wearing It
- Not Just Bees: Controversial Pesticides Linked to Bird Declines
- Seed Monopolies, GMOs and Farmer Suicides in India – A response to Nature