Is it worth paying extra for organic cotton clothing vs regular?
Well, if you are looking to significantly reduce exposure to toxins for yourself, your family as well as the environment, buying clothes made from organic cotton for kids as well as for yourself is one of the best ways to do that. Here's a brief summary of the "why" behind it (facts taken from the scientific study by The Organic Center):
Use of toxic chemicals
Organic cotton farming practices do not allow use of toxic synthetic chemicals, while regular cotton is the third largest user of pesticides in the US and fourth in the world. In the US alone just in one year (2017) 48 million lbs of pesticides were used to grow regular cotton, $4.2 billion worth.
It takes 91% less water to grow cotton organically vs conventionally.
All these toxic chemicals used for non-organic farming end up polluting our soil, water and air. You may be surprised to know that roughly 20% of global water pollution is the product of finishing and dyeing textile products.
Hazardous pesticides used in conventional cotton farming not only lead to health issues for farmers and cotton processors, but the rest of us and our kids as well, since they are impossible to contain. According to research, cumulative exposure over an extended period of time to some of the chemicals and dyes used in production of cotton can cause cancer and hormone disruption in people. Studies also confirmed impact of pesticides on children's health, primarily nervous system, impacting normal functioning of reflexes, challenges with coordination and even learning disabilities. Toxic chemicals that end up in water supplies over time are proven to lead to a variety of health issues from depression, memory impairments to even more serious conditions like infertility, birth defects, breast milk contamination and even cancer.
By not using toxic chemicals in the farming process, organic cotton farming helps preserve biodiversity within our ecosystem, directly supporting health of soils, helping counteract climate change effects.
Bottom line, premium price for clothing made from organic cotton is a small price to pay, considering implications on our health, the health of our children and the health of our planet, in preserving which we all have a role to play so it can be a safe home for our kids and generations to come.