The 100% organic cotton challenge
I have been for a while trying to make the switch to an organic wardrobe. I have found it quite challenging. It is not easy to find clothes that you love, fit your body that are 100% organic. I have set myself this challenge:
Buy only 100% organic, whether is cotton, wool or other natural material.
What this means in practice is given the choice between two dresses, one 100% organic, the other 97% organic I will buy the 100% organic one. This is the same as with the rest of the plastic. When you try to go plastic free, you buy a container and you realise it has a small plastic component somewhere that defeats the whole purpose of going plastic free.
I would like to see producers taking on the challenge and creating clothes that are 100% organic cotton as a standard.
I have found that certain items such as underwear, leggings, trousers and socks are hard to find 100% organic. They are normally mixed with some stretch, plastic material.
If they are mixed with other fabrics, these fabrics need to be natural, not plastic. Why not mixed them with organic silk, linen or wool?
Organic cotton is soft, nice to the touch and I have found it surprisingly warm. I think it’s a much higher quality than conventional cotton.
If you want to simplify your life and reduce your consumption of clothes this challenge may be all you need.
If you would like to challenge yourself and go 100% organic cotton, post in social media with #100percentorganicchallenge.Join the 100% organic challenge #100percentorganicchallenge Click To Tweet
Why did I start buying organic cotton?
I wanted to be healthier.
I started with organic food, then look at plastic in the kitchen, water and organic clothes. It was a natural progression from organic food as I got more information about conventional cotton.
Why do I buy organic cotton clothes?
In one word health versus chemicals.
Initially, I found out that conventional cotton is full of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. These chemicals are not only sprayed on the crops and the soil but they are part of the clothes we wear. These chemicals are released into your environment and absorb by your skin. In fact, there is no such a thing as 100% cotton, it’s more like 75% cotton and 25% chemicals. That realisation was shocking to me. Lately, I have realised that GMOS account for 68% of worldwide cotton production. Read more here.
100% cotton = 75% cotton + 25% chemicals Click To Tweet
Why do I buy 100% organic cotton clothes?
If I’m going to change I want my clothes to be 100% organic. If I buy 98% organic I still have a 2% of some synthetic material, most likely elastane, which is really another word for plastic.
I think the very nature of plastic, a synthetic polymer to which chemicals are added, do not go well with our bodies. As I am trying to go plastic free I don’t see the point in having it in my clothes. I think synthetic materials interfere with our bodies. I also believe that if we want to be sustainable we cannot use materials that are not recyclable.
How do you know if they are 100% organic cotton?
It needs to say 100% organic cotton on the label.
I also look if it is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified and Fair Trade certification is certainly a plus.
My top 9 organic cotton clothing stores
These are the shops I have bought from since changing to organic cotton:
My number one shop has to be Frugi. Frugi is an organic cotton clothing store for babies and children up to 10 years. They also have clothes for breastfeeding mums and a line of organic bedding for cots and single beds. Their clothes are gorgeous and really good quality. Delivery to Ireland is £6, the cheapest of all the shops I have dealt with and I have never had a problem with them. I just love Frugi. One of my best tasks as a mum is to tidy up and put away my daughter’s wardrobe. I just love it. Frugi delivers to UK, Europe and worldwide (£12, up to 2 weeks.) Frugi is a member of the 1% for the planet. At the time of writing, they have donated £200.000 through the 1% of their annual turnover. At the moment this money goes to support the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the Woodland Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. If you have a charity in mind you can let them know!
Boob is a shop for stylish maternity clothes and nursing wear. They may have a dress here or there in 100% organic cotton but most often they are 95% organic cotton. They also use other fabrics from recycled plastic bottles. Their nursing system in dresses and tops is quite comfortable and easy to use. They also have underwear, pyjamas and swimwear. I would love if they made more of their clothes 100% organic.
People Tree provides fashionable Fair Trade, organic cotton clothes and accessories for men and women. It is the most environmentally aware and people oriented of all the organic retailers. They aim to be 100% Fair Trade throughout their supply chain. What this means is they work closely with fair trade groups to create businesses that can sustain communities while using methods of production with minimum impact on the environment. Most of their collection is made with 100% organic cotton although not all of them. You need to check each item to find out. They use low impact dyes. Their clothes are good quality and well made. I seem to have a predilection for their dresses. They deliver to UK, Europe and to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Seasalt is a company based in Cornwall, England that provides some 100% organic cotton clothing for women. Their clothes have the characteristic seasalt look with stripes and their own prints inspired in the surrounding coast and countryside. I get mostly plain tops from this store. I normally order one size less than in other shops because I find that the clothes tend to be slightly bigger. They also have underwear; their knickers are 96% organic cotton and 4% elastane. I bought a great set of pyjamas 100% organic cotton. They deliver to the UK, Europe and rest of the World. You can read more about their standards here.
Pants to Poverty
Pants to poverty is a line of underwear for men and women that rank high on the ethical scale. They are on a mission to prove that you can change the world with your pants. Their underwear are 95% organic and Fairtrade cotton, 5% elastane. You can read more on how organic cotton is improving living conditions for farmers in India and workers at their carbon neutral factory.
Monkee Genes makes jeans and trousers for men and women. They have chinos, skinny jeans and shorts that are 97% organic, 3% stretch. I wish they had more bootcut trousers with 100% organic cotton. I bought a few chinos and they are good quality. They are trying to raise awareness about the true cost of disposable, fast fashion through the trading charity “Stop Taking the Pennies” and they also have a project to support the bees.
Organic Textile Company
Organic Textile Company is a family company from Wales who has partnered with Genesh in India to make 100% organic cotton fabrics. They have a wide variety of fabrics and they make their own unique prints. They also sell organic cotton thread, aprons, bags, tea towels and cushion covers you can customise. They accept requests for printing fabrics. I love receiving their newsletters because they are personal and interesting providing an authentic connection with them and the people in India. They deliver to the UK and Europe. They also supply wholesale to Australia, Asia and USA.
I think making your own clothes is certainly the way to go if you know how in order to get exactly the clothes you want.
Kerry Woollen Mills
Kerry Woollen Mills have 100% organic wool socks, wool caps, sweaters for men and women and also Aran knitting organic wool in white. I bought the socks a few years ago and I haven’t had cold feet ever since.
Ayuvastra is an Irish company whose mission is “to develop sustainable fashion practices, support ancient traditions and help heal the individual mind, body and spirit with fabrics that are specifically designed to enhance health and well-being.” They sell a yoga/lounge wear set for men and women, 100% silk scarves, yarn, bedding and baby sleepsuits. All their items are 100% organic cotton, 100% fair trade and 100% natural plant dyes following the Ayurvedic tradition and the fabrics are meant to have medicinal properties. They deliver to Europe and worldwide.
If you would like to challenge yourself and go 100% organic cotton post in social media with the hashtag #100percentorganicchallenge
You can also go to my Eco shop and check out some green companies with organic cotton products.