When I started Beeboobuzz, the biggest challenge I had was finding the right fabric. As a mum, I know what sort of clothes I want to dress my son in. The feel and quality of fabric is something I always notice in clothes, especially children’s clothes, so I wanted to make sure the fabric was soft, thick cotton. I also knew I wanted bright, bold colours and, of course, I wanted it to be organic.
We’re all increasingly aware of the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry, and cotton production is a huge part of that. Conventional cotton farming uses large amounts of water, coupled with harmful pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals that leech into the soil and waterways.
By contrast, to be certified as organic cotton, no toxic or harmful chemicals can be used on the crop and rainwater is often used instead. This has multiple benefits –
- Healthier soil, which is better for drought resistance and stores more carbon
- No pollutants, which is obviously better for the environment, especially when you consider that cotton is often grown in poorer countries where environmental legislation is less stringent and the local population are more likely to use water directly from waterways rather than cleaned and processes water through taps, as we do.
- Reduced water usage, as organic crops are more often rain-fed, reducing the use of water, which is increasingly scarce due to climate change, especially in hotter areas where cotton is likely to be grown.
- Increased biodiversity, as a result of the absence of chemicals, which encourages a wider range of insects and birds as well.
We could still all do with using less cotton, less of everything really, so buying second hand, repairing or reusing what we already own, and buying better quality items that last and can be passed on. But if you can, buy organic.