Impact of cotton on the environment
Textiles is the second most polluting industry in the world. Making fabric uses water, energy, chemicals, and other resources that most people don’t ever see, or think about.
We had to rethink the way to make fabrics and everything we thought we knew about bedsheets.
We do not think cotton is awesome. It is the most popular fabric used to make bedding, and we believe it has some of the most harmful environmental impacts of all fabric. Not to mention the issues around forced labor, child labor, and factory collapses. It’s a dirty business.
Not cotton, please
Chemicals are used at almost every stage of the cotton manufacturing process. Conventional cotton consumes 11% of the world’s pesticides and 24% of the world’s insecticides, despite the fact that cotton only uses 2.4% of total arable land. That's a very unsustainable use of resources.
Spinning oils are also used as the cotton is converted to yarn and then formaldehyde and flame retardants are added as the yarn is woven.
Water and land pollution.
Manufacturing cotton is extremely water intensive. After the water is used in the manufacturing process, this often-polluted water is then sent back to our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Cotton production is the largest textile contributor to freshwater and soil toxicity in the world.
Think organic cotton is better? Think again.
Conventional cotton has a higher yield; a single plant will produce more fiber than its organic counterpart, which has not been genetically modified. In order to get the same amount of fiber from an organic crop, you’ll have to plant more organic plants, which means using more land. That land, of course, has to be tended and irrigated.
It takes about 290 gallons of water to produce a t-shirt with conventional cotton. To grow the same amount of organic cotton, however, requires about 660 gallons of water.
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