LESSON 1 - COTTON & CHEMICALS:
The impact of organic cotton
The story behind conventional cotton is not as fluffy and soft as it may feel. The use of water, pesticides, and land are three reasons for why you may want to give this fibre a second thought. At Mini Rodini, all cotton is 100 % organic. This means no GMO seeds, a healthy soil and in the end – a soft fabric that is kind to both nature and your skin.
Cotton is a highly versatile, breathable and durable fibre. It is very comfortable to wear because it absorbs and releases moisture relatively quickly. It accepts many dyes and can be treated in many ways – it can be made fuzzy inside a sweatshirt and textured in a flowy summer dress. For this reason, it is one of the worlds’ leading agricultural crops and the second most common fibre used in the world
(22 % compared to 64 % for polyester).
The cotton industry is unfortunately not so very hunky dory. Around 20 million tons of cotton is produced every year, and between 8,000-22,550 litres of water is required for one kg of cotton. The 8,000 litres if it is produced in the highly industrial USA, and the 22,500 litres if it is produced in India where irrigation systems are badly run, and poor management of pesticides is rampant. Cotton farming uses more pesticides than any other area of agricultural production. This has an effect on the planet, ruining waterways, soil and air quality, and affecting the surrounding ecosystem. It also has a great impact on the people who manage the pesticides, with between 1- and 3 % of cotton growers suffering from acute pesticide poisoning, with at least 1 million people requiring hospitalisation each year.
This is why we have chosen to only use organic cotton in all of our products. Organic cotton uses no genetically modified seeds, bans all use of pesticides, uses 71 % less water and 62 % less energy.
This has a massive effect on both people and planet, and for us – it’s a no brainer.
The 2017 Textile Exchange Market Report included us in the 100% club for organic cotton (as well as recycled polyester and man-made cellulosic fibres) meaning, we are globally, amongst a small group of brands that only use organic cotton in their products, together with brands such as Patagonia and KnowledgeCotton Apparel. This isn’t very common, as only 0,57 % of all the cotton grown globally in 2016 was organic.
This being said, organic cotton isn’t in itself the solution to the whole problem. Even organic cotton is very resource heavy, and this is why we are constantly looking for new sustainable fibres to introduce to our range, such as Modal® and Tencel®.
It’s not enough for our suppliers to say something is organic or recycled, we also need proof to ensure our products are really sustainable. There are loads of certifications out there, and we have chosen to only go by the most comprehensive ones on the market.