As part of our commitment at Matt King Undercover, we know that natural fibers are better for your body and the environment. More and more, consumers are opting for alternative options to man-made fabrics altered by harsh conventional dyes, wrinkle-free formaldehyde treatments and pesticides for breathable, chemical-free alternatives. The majority of fast fashion, which is designed to be cheaper for consumers, is predominantly synthetic. It is estimated that up to two thirds of current affordable fashion is soaked in plastics due to its man-made process; they are chemically produced fabrics made by joining monomers into polymers, through a process called polymerization. When magnified, it looks like plastic spun together! Natural-fiber clothing, on the other hand, is created from the naturally occurring fibers of plants. Shockingly, synthetic fibers require high energy use and crude oil and are manufactured usually from oil, coal or natural gas. They are also the most common fiber that causes diseases such as dermatitis, which is a skin reaction usually characterized by inflammation, redness, and itching in the skin after direct contact with synthetic fibers. This may somewhat come as a surprise to some, we have become so accustomed to seeking out affordability and with ready access to online shopping at a click of a button, it is easy to become blindsided to what we actually consume in the pursuit of convenience or economy. On a positive note, there are wonderful features and benefits of organic, natural fibers such as cotton, it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s discover what they are and how we can become kinder to our bodies and the planet.
As defined by the TextileExchange, ‘an organic cotton farming system is one that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of artificial elements such as pesticides and other chemicals that cause adverse effects. Organic farming combines tradition, innovation and science and promotes fair relationships and a good quality of life for everyone involved.’ Organic farming uses non-GMO seeding, consumes less water during growth and production by retaining water more efficiently due to organic matter in the soil and builds soil organic matter through crop rotation and healthy ecological balance.
In addition, there is also a human cost to conventional cotton. Consider the effect pesticides have on farmers and their families. The farmers breathe pesticides in when they apply it or when they pick the cotton by hand. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 20,000 people in developing countries die each year due to pesticides and there is a direct correlation to developmental issues in children, birth defects, as well as weaker immune systems. By buying organic, you are lessening these grave conditions and are wittingly supporting organic farmers health and livelihoods as premium prices enhance farmers’ income and health.
Kindness to your Body
We have been producing cotton for over 6000 years, going back to its original form provides many health benefits. Staying well, eating right, getting a good night’s rest and exercising are all cornerstones of a well-balanced life. By choosing natural fibers, namely organic cotton, you are enhancing your quality of life.
- Organic cotton breathes and doesn’t trap heat
- The fibers are tightly woven, yet extremely breathable and pleasantly soft
- Organic cotton clothing is better for sensitive skin and those with allergies, cotton is hypoallergenic
- They do not cling to the body and support the reduction of excessive sweating
- They’re created without toxins or unnatural processes, so you don’t absorb any through your skin
- They’re extremely lightweight, yet provide warmth and protection
- Natural fibers are biodegradable
- Organic cotton is softer yet more durable, so your clothes look better and last longer
Organic cotton is cotton that is produced according to organic agriculture standards. It can be certified according to the “family of standards” as defined by IFOAM – Organics Inter- national, the umbrella organisation for organic movements. It is estimated that the impact of climate change is reduced by up to 50% due to increasing levels of organic matter and preventing unnecessary energy consumption in plant protection products and fertilizers. Another benefit to seeking certified suppliers, is that it forces producers to verify traceability that in turn promotes human rights and participation along the entire chain of production. Let’s all do our part in sourcing and wearing conscious clothing!
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