What the Heck Does Organic Cotton Even Mean?

When you first start diving into the world of “sustainable and ethical fashion” you instantly become overwhelmed. There are so many factors that go into being a sustainable and ethical product and come to find out it’s almost impossible to find something that has the whole package. When it comes to shopping more ethically I’ve had to evaluate what parts of ethical fashion I find the most important. For example, an item can be sustainably made (with organic cotton and dyes) but not be made ethically (fair wages and normal work hours). The five most common factors in sustainable and ethical fashion are ethical production, transparency in the company, made with natural fibers/earth-friendly dyes, gives back to a cause, and local manufacturing. I happen to care about these factors in the order in which they are listed. What do you think is most important?

With that said, let’s dive into the reasoning why it matters to have natural, organic fibers such as cotton.

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Although cotton takes up less than 2.5 percent of global cropland, 10% of all pesticides are used. 

Remember learning about organic food in high school and how bad GMOs were for your body? Come to find out that we’re all wearing something that is way worse than consuming GMOs. Your skin is your largest organ yet we allow a plethora of chemicals lay on our skin… well unless you’re a hippy and don’t wear clothes. The constant contact of pesticides can cause you to have irritated skin, rashes, and even can cause headaches and dizziness. Umm… no, thank you!

These chemicals are up and personal with your goods every day and night. Ever forget to wash your jeans before you wear them and end up with blue/black hands from the dye? I’m super guilty of this and have plenty of blue/black hands before. Although pesticides aren’t as visible as the dye rubbing off on your hands, the same amount gets stuck onto your skin and rubs against sensitive areas. So if you don’t buy organic cotton make sure you wash your item before you wear it so that it removes some of the pesticides before you wear it.

The Cotton Industry is notorious for human rights violations in India, the world’s largest cotton producer.

The problem with cotton that as soon as you start to treat it with pesticides it only needs more and more pesticides. As soon as the farmers start to use the pesticides, they need more and more in order to keep up with the crop. This causes them to be in tremendous debt and sell some of their land to the people who sold them the pesticides, Monsanto. All while these transactions are going on, local communities near the farms are born with birth defects and mentally deficient as a result of the extreme pesticide exposure. When pesticides are sprayed they can actually travel two miles from the air and waterways. If that wasn’t worse enough, the same people who are selling the pesticides, taking the land, and allowing neighboring towns to get sick are also selling the medication to help with the illnesses. It is one big money scheme.

This isn’t only happening in India. The Environmental Protection Agency considers 7 of the 15 pesticides used on conventional cotton as possible or known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. Farmers in the United States are also suffering from the harsh pesticides and are dying from cancer.

Organic Cotton

What are the requirements to be considered organic cotton?

  • No pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals are used when growing organic cotton
  • To be certified organic the soil must be free from chemicals for at least 3 years
  • The land, and soil, benefits from crop rotation
  • Organic cotton gets a GOTS certification (Global Organic Textile Standard) to make sure that it is organic.

So how can I help this issue?

Cotton is in so much that we consume even away from our clothes. Our bedding, towels, money, tampons, make up wipes, q-tips, and so much more. So how can you help the cotton industry? By buying organic! So many companies are coming out with organic lines each and every day. Keep your skin and the environment happy by choosing to buy organic cotton. Here are just six of the many companies that have an adorable line of organic items:

Organic Cotton

You can even find some organic cotton in the sea of clothes at TJMaxx and Marshalls! I found these perfect casual t-shirts at Marshalls. They have been my go-to when I’m rushing to get out the door in the morning.

Do you own anything that is made out of organic cotton? Did you know that cotton was such a demanding crop? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

Hello darlings! I’m not going to lie this post was a result of me falling in the skin care section of the grocery store. You can find the darnedest things in the grocery story. I’m glad I got lost though. I’m head over heels for these delicious skin care products.

 

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It’s almost as if trained professions came together in one room to decide the best smell in the world. The product: Shea Sugar Scrub in Tropical Mango. If this was edible, I would have drove to the store and bought more. I honestly was in a slight dilemma between the Tropical Mango and the Brazilian Nut. I decided to go for the Tropical Mango because it’s more of a summer time smell. The Brazilian Nut smells almost like a rustic, coffee aroma but better than you can even imagine. They have 19 total different scrubs and I might try them all… my aspirations are high, I know.

Anyway, Tree Hut is a certified organic company that sells sunscreen, butters, lotions, soap, wax, and even salt soaks. I’ve been looking on their website for the past hour and there really isn’t a product I don’t want to try. Seriously though, I’m even dying to try the aloe and peppermint soothing foot cream. I think I’m so willing to try all these products because my heart has fallen deeply in love with this delicious sugar scrub. This sugar scrub makes you feel as relaxed as taking a bubble bath but not having to sit for an hour to get that relaxed. It’s a good 5 minute scrub and you feel totally relaxed afterwords. You also get to smell like trained professionals altered your DNA to smell like you used to live in heaven. So if that isn’t the raddest of rad things i don’t know what is. Also, your skin is as if you were sitting in a tub of lotion for an hour. I don’t think my skin has even been softer.

I would really recommend looking at this page that describes the benefits of all of the different fragrances. For the tropical mango they state that the fragrance “Mango Puree is packed with vitamins and minerals to renew dull skin and reveal a natural glow. Safflower Seed Oil’s natural linoleic acid contains anti-inflammatory properties which help to fight skin conditions. It also prevents dryness and hydrates to provide healthy glow, while promoting elasticity.” I also have safflower seed oil in my next product…

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If you haven’t tried at least one of St. Ives products you’re definitely missing out. After falling in love with their facial scrubs a few years ago, I decided to look into their company policies. St. Ives does not use parabens but instead use natural exfoliants, extracts, moisturizers and vitamins. Another great aspect of their company is that they make an effort to use as many renewable and recycled materials as possible. But my personal favorite about St. Ives is that they don’t test on animals. St. Ives clearly knows how to win my heart and keep the world clean while doing so.

So I decided to try their Timeless Skin: Collagen Elastin Moisturizer. It is made with natural safflower seed oil. According to Organic Facts, safflower seed oil “stimulates the regeneration of new skin cells meaning that it helps to clear up scars and other blemishes from the surface of the skin.” This is why it makes sense to put in safflower seed oil in a “timeless skin” cream. The cream is very light weight which is nice because I can put it on before I put my make up on in the morning. I also love the clean, lotion smell it radiates.

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I’ve tried some of the Freeman masks  (Avocado & Oatmeal Clay mask and the Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask) before but have never tired the Dead Sea minerals Anti-Stress Mask. I honestly thought there were only three different types of masks because CVS only seems to carry those three. However, after going to their website I was overwhelmed with the 23 different kinds of masks. I clearly need to open my horizon. If I was in charge of their marketing I would change the name of this particular mask to “Want To Look Like a Million Bucks?” I’m almost mad at myself for taking this long to try this wonderful product. It rejuvenates your skin in minutes. Plus, the beautiful blue color gave me a perfect reason to snapchat me singing “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65.

I really hope this post has given you some inspiration to try one of these fantastic products. I’m also apologizing ahead of time for the deep love you will feel for each product. Also, your skin will thank you.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, want to try one of these, or have any skin care recommendations for me! I love hearing your thoughts and opinions!

As always,

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