Get into the spirit of Organic September with us as we explore the truths behind organic fabrics. We speak to Sarah Compson from the Soil Association about organic fabrics, why they're better for the planet and how to spot authentic fabrics.
This September is Organic September where we celebrate and draw attention to organic farming throughout the world. Organic processes play a huge part in reducing the effects of climate change and ensure that the fibres and food we grow have as little impact on the environment as possible. To find out more we reached out to Sarah Compson. Sarah works for Soil Association as an organic textile expert and basically knows everything about organic fashion.
Organic vs Regular Cotton
We primarily talk about cotton because cotton makes up 25% of all fibres worldwide. However just 1% of cotton output is certified organic. The rest is grown using GMO seeds, copious amounts of highly toxic pesticides as well as even bigger amounts of water. You may have heard of the disappearance of the Aral sea? The world’s 4th biggest lake has all but disappeared thanks to over irrigation of agricultural land in Uzbekistan. The majority of this land is used to grow cotton. So there is an urgent need to address our reliance on cotton.
The Dangers Of Non Organic Cotton Growth
We discuss the percentage of cotton that should be organic in order to call a product organic - spoiler alert, it’s worryingly small. Sarah explains why Soil health is crucial to our planet’s survival and the important role that carbon sinks play in reversing climate change. Although 2% of all cropland is used globally for cotton, some studies claim that 16% of all pesticides sold are used just on cotton. Many of them are highly toxic and classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation. So cotton farmers and people, animals and vegetation living in the surrounding land are at risk of serious health problems. They kill an estimated 16,000 people each year. We also talk about organic wool and silk and why you should use organic tampons if you can. Content warning - this is a bit sciency but you probably already know that Lucy is a bit of a geek when it comes to fabrics so hopefully you don’t mind indulging her.
Thank you to Sarah Compson of The Soil Association
Mentioned in the episode
Soil Association Beauty
Greenpeace Detox Campaign
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Host Lucy Kebbell
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