Lynda Fassa, founder and designer of Green Babies
Fifteen years ago when I founded Green Babies, the term “green” was so disassociated from fashion (or anything else for that matter), that people would ask my husband and business partner: “Green Babies, what’s that?” And he’d answer, “It’s an adoption agency for Martian children.” “Oh”..they’d say, slowly nodding and backing away. Sometimes I’d tell them what it really was and they looked equally perplexed. Things have changed, for the much better and brighter, but the question still remains: Why does organic cotton matter?
COTTONING ON TO COTTON
Conventional cotton takes a much heavier toll than you might know. Consider this:
- Conventional cotton occupies only 3 percent of the world’s farmland, but uses 25 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
- Cotton is the second most pesticide-laden crop in the world (after coffee) and number one in the United States.
- Pesticides don’t just land on crops, but make their way into groundwater, which is drinking water for 60 percent of Americans.
- Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the United States—and the second cause of death after accidents.
There just simply is no magic garbage barge taking these neurotoxins off the planet, our planet. We all cringe when we see the wicked witch handing poor Snow White the poisoned apple and yet, if we’re not choosing organic, we are doing the same. Can we really just close our eyes as our land is being bombed with poisons, some developed as chemical weapons during wartime?
COTTON IN THE FOOD CHAIN
If you eat potato chips, corn chips, [insert favorite salty snack food here], you’re most likely ingesting conventional cotton. Check that label: Cottonseed oil is right near the top in the list of ingredients, and it’s chances are, it’s not organic cottonseed oil.
If you eat salty snack foods, you’re most likely ingesting conventional cotton.
Conventional cotton and its toxic legacy makes it into our food supply in other ways, too. Hulls from cottonseeds are a common feed for beef cattle, so if you’ve got a hankering for a burger, you’re probably getting more than you bargained for in your own personal ecosystem, as well.