Cotton - Conventional versus Organic
COTTON is the most universally comfortable, breathable and softest of all the fibers, natural or manmade.
Cotton batting has been the mattress fill of choice for decades. With purity and comfort, certified organic and natural cottons take the next step forward.
Conventional (also known as traditional or commercial) grown cotton is ordinarily one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides. To bring this delicate plant to harvest, it is heavily sprayed 30 to 40 times a season in extreme cases with pesticides so poisonous they gradually render fields barren. To create finished goods, fabrics are usually colored with toxic dyes and finished with formaldehyde. Worldwide, conventional cotton farming uses only about 2.5% of the farmland but consumes approximately 16-25 percent of the chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In the United States alone, approximately 600 thousand tons of pesticides and chemical fertilizers are applied to cotton fields each season. To complicate matters, insects are quickly becoming resistant to recommended rates of pesticide application and ever increasing amounts are needed be effective. Consumers and environmental groups are becoming more alarmed and more vocal.
"When the planes still swoop down and aerial spray a field in order to kill a predator insect with pesticides, we are in the Dark Ages of commerce. Maybe one thousandth of this aerial insecticide actually prevents the infestation. The balance goes to the leaves, into the soil, into the water, into all forms of wildlife, into ourselves. What is good for the balance sheet is wasteful of resources and harmful to life." Paul Hawken, Ecology of Commerce.
THE ALTERNATIVE - ORGANIC COTTON
Certified organic cotton is cotton grown in fields where the use of pesticides have been discontinued for at least 3 years and where rigorous controls help rebuild the soil's natural fertility. Organic farming is a farming system which relies on natural inputs only. No synthetically produced pesticides or fertilizers are used. Mother Nature is allowed to have much more of an influence. Beneficial insects are allowed to flourish to keep pest insects in check. Crop rotations with legumes help maintain fertility and soil microbiology. Weeds are controlled with precision tillage and the old fashioned hoe. The successful organic farm requires much more intensive and innovative management.
NOTE: A few of our products do use green cotton, which is cotton that has been processed without formaldehydes, dyes, and bleaches, but not necessarily grown without pesticides. We do not have any conventional (standard) cotton on this web site. If green cotton is used, it is stated in the product information.