Articles

Why insist on Organic Cotton?

Conventional cotton farming produces 99 percent of American cotton. It is highly mechanized and the heaviest user of fertilizers, pesticides, petroleum and water in agriculture. Many chemicals used in industrial cotton farming are highly toxic compounds developed from nerve gases.

Many herbicides and pesticides are known to produce various forms of cancer, mutations and birth defects; some mimic or interfere with hormones, causing impotence, sterility and birth defects even in minute doses. These chemicals are persistent and highly toxic to fish, bees, birds, insects and other life forms that are easily exposed to them by field runoff, over-spraying, and bioaccumulation.

Is soaking plants in carcinogenic chemicals really the best way to grow them? How about the way that farmers have raised crops for 99.5% of the 10,000 years since agriculture began – organically?

 

THE ORGANIC ALTERNATIVE

Organic cotton farmers in the US are rare – there are only around 60 farms, mostly in Texas. Driven by a desire to grow a healthy crop that’s good for themselves, their land, their workers, and their customers, these farmers defy conventional wisdom and the peer pressure of their “conventional” neighbors.  Lacking the academic-industrial-government support system of GMO cotton, these brave farmers tackle the challenges of weeds, boll weevils and labor-intensive cultivation in an industrialized world. Patagonia and other conscientious clothing manufacturers have helped develop the production of organic cotton as a healthy, sustainable crop in the US and abroad, principally in Turkey and increasingly in India, China, and Africa.

 

WHY ONLY AMERICAN ORGANIC COTTON?

Using only American organic cotton is not superficial patriotism. We want to support domestic agriculture and businesses, and we want to help create jobs in this country rather than exporting the work. We want to help American agriculture make the transition to organic, sustainable, healthy production of fiber and food.

Only a small amount (less than 1%) of cotton in the US is grown organically due to the risks and farming challenges by a small handful of true rebels. These bold farmers, mostly in West Texas, deserve and need our support in developing a viable, healthy, sustainable domestic cotton business.

These organic farmers are not waiting for industrial agriculture to collapse from its unsustainability – its dependence on expensive, unhealthy chemicals, cheap petroleum and expensive machinery, or its mining of topsoil supplemented by heavy fertilizer use, whose runoff leads to dead zones in oceans worldwide (400 at last count including the Gulf of Mexico and off the Oregon coast).

By using only American organic cotton that is ginned, spun into yarn, knit and finally sewn into shirts in the US, we can assure the highest quality material and support American agriculture, businesses and workers.

We also want to reduce our carbon footprint. Shipping American cotton to overseas and back depends on oil, as does importing organic cotton grown elsewhere into the USA.

Besides, our Texas organic cotton is the highest quality cotton in the world; we’re certain you can appreciate that!

Comments and Reviews