Top 10 Benefits of Organic Clothing
Organic clothing is on the rise. Rising consumer concerns about environmental sustainability and nature conservation has seen demand grow rapidly for natural and organic fabrics (GVR). Indeed, organic clothing sales have been rising year on year at record rates. Here, we outline 10 reasons why organic clothing is the choice you should make.
- Uses less water
Organic production uses less water. For example, organically grown cotton uses 88% less water than cotton that is grown using non-organic methods. That equates to around 218 billion liters of water saved annually, equivalent to filling more than 87,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. Given that cotton production alone is responsible for as much as 2.6% of global water use, choosing organic clothing is a great way to save one of life’s most precious resources (Hoekstra and Chapagain, 2008). Meanwhile, organic hemp uses less than have the amount of water required to produce cotton.
- Reduces your environmental footprint
In addition to using less water, there are a range of ways in which choosing organic clothing saves energy and protects the environment. Fundamental to this, is the fact that organic production uses no insecticides and pesticides. As a result, the production of organic materials, such as cotton and hemp, helps to prevent the acidification of soil and water, protect against over-fertilization, and contribute less to global warming. Buying organic cotton and hemp clothing is a sure-fire way to protect the environment.
- Softer on your skin
Organic clothing is gentler on your skin. Cotton and hemp are also supremely breathable fabrics. However, sometimes non-organic cotton and hemp can still cause people skin irritations because of the harsh chemicals used to produce the fabric (heavy metals, chlorine, and chemical dyes). Since organic clothing is all-natural and won’t cause allergies it is a great choice for people with sensitive skin. Organic cotton is also softer than non-organic cotton as it is all hand-picked which ensures the purity of every fiber picked, prevents damage to the fibers, and reduces waste. Whilst organic hemp is gentle on the skin, for soft sensations, organic cotton is king.
- Better for workers
Since organic clothing does not require the use of harsh and toxic chemicals in their production, farmers of organic cotton experience healthier working conditions. Moreover, organic materials produced for clothing have a range of social and economic benefits for workers and communities. For example, more than 65% of organic producing groups achieve Fairtrade status, 97% encourage the participation of women in production, and more farmers are able to associate and bargain collectively, helping to improve wages for producers. Therefore, buying organic clothing benefits producers and their communities.
- Organic clothing is completely biodegradable
One of the benefits of organic clothing is that we can wear it all year round and still feel comfortable. However, this can mean our favorite hemp t-shirts or organic cotton dresses get worn-out beyond repair. Fortunately, organic clothing is completely biodegradable so when it does come to the day when you finally have to say goodbye, you don’t have to worry about adding more waste to landfill.
- Less corporate control of farms
The majority of crops grown for clothing come from GMO seeds which are developed by enormous agricultural corporations. These seeds are developed so that they are unable to produce their own seeds when planted. Unlike traditional farming, this means that farmers are unable to produce their own seeds and are dependent on large corporations to provide them.
This creates an unequal power dynamic and the majority of profits not being received by the farmers themselves. Plus, crops that come from GMO seeds are often more susceptible to disease and drought leaving farmers in an incredibly vulnerable position should their crop fail. When crops are grown organically, this places greater control in the farmer’s hand and also encourages sustainable farming practices since they are able to produce their own seeds.
- It helps to conserve precious natural resources
In addition to reduced water usage, another benefit of organic clothing is that it conserves precious natural resources. Non-organic farming is intensive and often requires seeking out additional farmland when soil fertility is lost. Through more sustainable farming practices used in growing organic crops to produce fabrics, such as crop rotation and mixed cropping, the soil is kept fertile with a balanced nutrient content.
- Organic clothing is more durable
Clothing made out of organic fabric is more durable than clothing you find on the high street that is made out of synthetic materials. No harmful chemicals are used when processing organic fabrics so the fibers in the fabric are not weakened. So, while the original price tag may seem large remember that, with organic clothing, you are buying a quality product that will last a long time.
- Less synthetic fabrics are used
The more we purchase organic clothing the less synthetic fabrics will need to be produced and the environmental impact of clothing production will be reduced. Many clothing items are made out of nylon and polyester which are non-biodegradable. As well as using an enormous amount of energy and water to make, the production of nylon releases nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas) into the environment. The harmful chemicals used in the production of polyester can also lead to contamination of the air and local water supplies.
- Guilt-free shopping
The consumption of cheap and disposable clothing is both harmful to the environment and perpetuates the sweatshop conditions where these clothes are often made. When purchasing organic clothing you can rest assured that from seed to shop it has been created in ways that benefit the people that produced them. The clothing will also have been produced using sustainable processes that are not damaging to the environment. So, if you are ethically minded, purchasing organic clothing can be completely guilt-free.
Organic clothing doesn’t just look great, it also has a wide range of benefits for producers, communities, the environment, and our own mental wellbeing. If you haven’t checked out the softness of organic cotton or the durability of hemp clothing, then now is as good a time as any to give it a try.