Is “organic” the new “avocado”, or is it an actual need? Find out the differences between convention and organic cotton, and what role it plays in your health.
You must have noticed the word “organic” is getting more and more popularity, from food to clothes. The same happens with organic cotton used in menstrual products, namely tampons. There is a reason – a very important one, in fact – for this. Find out why.
Cotton vs. Organic Cotton
Is organic cotton just another fashion or lifestyle trend? Or is it actually a necessity for your health’s sake? Read on and decide for yourself.
What does “organic” mean?
Organic, in this context, relates to organic farming. Organic farming is a term used to designate sustainable agriculture and a set of agricultural methods that do not allow the use of synthetic chemical products – harmful to living organisms and to the environment – or GMOs.
As such, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are not allowed in an organic agriculture context. Additionally, organic farming methods make sure the soils are not overexploited, that both the ecosystems and people are protected by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs, and that a biologically diverse agriculture is not only respected but promoted.
What is organic cotton?
Organic cotton is cotton grown according to the organic farming standards. In practice this means that organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, without toxic synthetic fertilisers, is not grown in monocultures and the cotton seeds are not genetically engineered. The end result is a natural cotton, free from chemicals and toxins, leaving healthy soil behind and a clean bill when it comes to the environment.
What’s the difference between cotton and organic cotton?
The differences between conventional cotton and organic cotton start in the seeds and keep multiplying all over the cotton production stages. The most flagrant is, of course, the use of toxic chemicals in conventional cotton, that ultimately end up in rather large concentrations in the final product – be it a T-shirt or a tampon.
To have a better idea, white cotton uses only 2.5% of the planet’s total agricultural area, however, it uses 7% of all pesticides and 16% of all insecticides [source]. Because of this, conventional cotton is often called “the dirtiest crop in the world”, and there are hundreds of chemical companies creating neurotoxic formulas destined to cotton production.
But it’s not just about the pesticides and fertilisers. Water consumption differs greatly, too. To grow 1 kg of conventional cotton, around 10,000 litres of water are used [source]. In comparison, organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, rather than irrigated [source].
What about sanitary products?
In addition to all the reasons above, there is also the question of conventional cotton vs. organic cotton in sanitary products. And, oh-how-important this little big question is.
While the presence of toxic chemicals (and oftentimes heavy metals) in conventional cotton destined to clothing can be considered mildly serious, the same cannot be said about feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads. These go either inside your body or are in very close contact with your vagina and mucosae like the labia, anus and urethra, which makes the minimum trace of these dangerous substances a very, very serious problem. In the best-case scenario, you can get a vaginal rash; worst case scenario, there’s the possibility of much more complicated and serious illnesses.
Do you know how to handle (and avoid) that rash down there?
Most of the skin in the vulva, mucosae, and the interior of your vagina absorb chemical substances rather rapidly [source], so it is very obvious that nothing with leftover chemicals from pesticides and fertilisers should even be near your vagina.
Learn more about the difference between organic cotton tampons and conventional ones.
Now that you have the facts, take a look at aboutorganiccotton.org if you want to get more into organic cotton and its benefits to your health, to the environment and to the communities.
Take good care. Of you. Of your Mother Nature