Most of us are used to the idea that organic fruit and veg provide many benefits both to our health and to the environment. Pesticides used on mass farmed fruit and veg can cause illness and allergies, let alone irrevocably damage to our eco systems and water sources. It figures that we now search for locally farmed organic product where we can.
So what of the chemicals used for the production of our clothing? Unbelievably, the textile industry is second most polluting industry only to oil. The demand for ultra cheap clothing at a extraordinarily fast turn around has meant that cheaper production lines and increased use of chemicals and water have become the norm. In fact 25% of the world's chemicals are used in the textile industry. So it is no wonder when you buy a cheap jumper from a fast fashion label it has the slightest smell of chemicals that can linger even after washes.
With this is in mind it stands to reason that we should question whether we want to expose our largest organ, our skin, to clothing that has been steeped in chemicals. This is why we are seeing more and more of a demand for organic clothing. Brands like Kowtow are made from the softest organic cotton which won't harm your skin, cause irritation and, trust us, will be the most comfortable cotton you have ever worn.
If the question of what chemicals in clothing can do to our bodies is not enough to convince you then what these chemicals do to garment workers working with them on a daily basis and to the environment as a whole should. A study conducted in USA revealed a correlation between the presence of cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx and occupation in the textile industry. We have to worry what that will do to the millions of under regulated garment industry workers who do not have access to protective clothing. In terms of water pollution the figures are staggering - in Jakarta, Indonesia 80% of water pollution in the main river comes from the textile industry. The waste water is pumped out into rivers which local people rely on.
4 years ago Greenpeace launched the Detox campaign targetting the fashion industry and asking it to clean up its act. Things are improving and several big brands have made a commitment to detoxing their production process, but there is still a mountain to climb.
By choosing organic, you are taking responsibility for yourself, for garment industry workers and for the environment. This Earth Month is all about highlighting the precious planet we live on and its fragility. Choosing organic really can make a difference.