Conventional cultivation of organic cotton

In the conventional cultivation of cotton, pollutants such as pesticides, insecticides and defoliants are used. Conventional, because the polluted agriculture has developed as convention since the 30’s of the twentieth century, thus as the usual practice, which for a long time was hardly ever put into question.

History of conventional cotton

The development of artificial fibres, chemical pesticides and fertilizers revolutionized the cultivation of cotton, generated higher production numbers and covered in this way the increasing demand on the textile market. Long-term consequences were not foreseeable that time and if they were nevertheless so, these were not exposed to the public.

Only the emergence of verification and certification systems in the 90’s, such as OEKO TEX®, led to a slow reorientation. Nowadays baby clothing in particular is subject to the strictest regulations, in order not to endanger the health of our smallest ones unnecessarily.

In order to keep up to these standards, textiles go through chemical purification processes until values which are not harmful for the health are reached. “Healthy” clothing for our babies is unfortunately so far not to equate with a healthy creation of value chain.

Anbau und Weiterverarbeitung

During the conventional cultivation of cotton nerve poisons like insecticides, means of pest control and defoliants are used. The massive use of these chemicals has consequences for our environment and for our babies.

But also in the subsequent processes a lot of chemistry is used. Improvements of color, gloss, strength and the protection against creasing would not be possible without the application of chemical substances. Beautiful but not always healthy finished products are the result of the conventional chain of production.

In den konventionellen Industrie spielt Chemie jedoch auch bei der Weiterverarbeitung eine große Rolle. Veredelungsprozesse zur Verbesserung von Farbe, Glanz, Widerstandskraft und Knitterschutz führen zwar zu optisch schönen Ergebnissen, doch mindern sie die Qualität der Naturfasern und können sich negativ auf das Wohlbefinden des Endverbrauchers auswirken.

Consequences of the use of chemistry

The use of chemistry during the cultivation and processing of cotton may cause the skin to itch, sting or sweat.

Chemistry has also an influence on the textile quality. The massive use of chemistry leads to the loss of many naturally healthy characteristics of cotton and therefore reduces the life span of the textile.

The cotton farmers are every day at risk of poisoning because of the direct exposure to pesticides and insecticides. Diseases through contaminated water are a daily occurence in many parts of the world.

Last but not least, chemistry causes the destruction of atural habitats and of wild flora and fauna. Dirty waters and the contamination of soils with pesticide residuos challenge the balance of nature.

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