Unfortunately not all cottons are created equal.
You would be forgiven for assuming that cotton, a plant based fibre, would be better for the environment. Not so. Conventional cotton production raises significant environmental and social concerns.
It has been widely reported how much water conventional cotton production requires and the amount of pesticides and insecticides used, which end up polluting the waterways of communities most in need of a clean water supply. There are other factors too, such as leeching of soil nutrients and loss of biodiversity.
Even once crops are farmed, huge quantities of (often toxic) waste water are expelled during the dyeing process. The negative impacts are not just environmental either. The cotton industry is reportedly responsible for widespread forced labour in some of the countries where it is produced around the world.
All of this, manufacturers would say, is to satisfy customer’s insatiable desire for cheap, fast fashion. So where does the solution lie?
There are already a number of organisations promoting better industry standards throughout the supply chain. However, there also needs to be greater transparency at the point of purchase, with consumers being made aware of the widespread and serious issues surrounding cotton production.
According to one business journal, 60 per cent of retail customers consider themselves conscious consumers, but not all them (and the remaining 40 per cent) are aware of the problems. Greater awareness therefore will hopefully lead to a permanent change in shopping habits - the greatest driver of change throughout the rest of the supply chain.
The alternative? Conscious consumers can choose garments made from organic cotton fibres, the farming of which creates around half the carbon emissions of conventional cotton, uses 90% less water and farming is free of polluting chemicals.
The international benchmark for certification is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which ensures on-site auditing takes place to make sure textiles are organic at every stage of the production process, from harvesting of raw materials to manufacturing and labelling.
At the moment, organic cotton makes up only a fraction of the cotton being farmed, but customers have the power to increase this by choosing better quality, longer-lasting, natural organic cotton products.
At Ciconia Organics our brand philosophy is based on a circular economy business model and we work hard to maintain carbon neutrality. We use only 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton in the manufacturing of our baby wear garments and every element of our baby gift box sets is entirely plastic-free, sustainable and recyclable.
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