What does organic cotton have to do with animal conservation?

Organic cotton and animal conservation | Pigments by Liv

All Pigments by Liv t-shirts are made with 100% organic cotton, but why? Yes, it makes the t-shirts super soft and comfortable, but it’s also much better for the planet! This is an eco-conscious decision, but what specifically does organic cotton have to do with animal conservation?

Regular cotton has been heavily used by the fast fashion industry, it is one of the most abundant fabrics used, alongside polyester. The reason for this is that it can be genetically modified to grow quickly and in abundance. Good for fast fashion, bad for those further down the supply chains, and like palm oil, not good for biodiversity.

Cotton is biodegradable, so it can’t be all bad, right? Nope. Planet friendly clothing isn’t about just ticking one box, it’s about ticking as many as you can and aiming for more. Vlogger, Gittemary Johansen, has an excellent video that explains the environmental impact of cotton and its relationship with fast fashion so well. Watch the video below.

What’s the difference between organic cotton and normal cotton?

Organic cotton is grown by using natural rather than artificial processes. This means it is created in a way that maintains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It promotes a good quality of life for all those involved, all the way from the soil to the communities to the wearer.
Organic cotton and animal conservation | Pigments by Liv
Source: http://aboutorganiccotton.org/
From what I have learnt about production in my short years, is the less human intervention needed, the better. This more natural process enables a cleaner and more ethical supply chain. This is why I was so drawn to organic cotton as a material, because it is also inspired by nature.

Why is Organic Cotton more expensive?

A sustainable cotton supply chain, financially costs more, but costs the planet less. For example, those involved are paid a fair wage, production is not sped up by harmful chemicals or wasteful energy and time is money. This is why organic cotton tees are more expensive than regular cotton t-shirts.

@OurFashionGarden recently illustrated the benefits of paying an extra couple of pounds in their comparison of natural fibres, such as cotton and organic cotton. In the post below you can see how sustainable each fibre is using their traffic light system (red = bad, yellow = not so good, but could be worse, green = great!).

What does organic cotton have to do with animal conservation?

Now that we understand what the difference between organic cotton and regular cotton is, we can look at how its production affects animal conservation.

Energy consumption and climate change

You guessed it! Energy consumption means burning fossil fuels, one of the main contributors to climate change. An issue that’s having an indirect impact on so many animals through rising global temperatures and shifts in weather patterns.

These changes are causing longer droughts in Africa. Elephants need to consume 160 litres of water a day, these droughts are drying up many watering holes, causing Elephants to collapse and even die of thirst. Organic cotton uses less energy consumption in its production process.

Elephants migrating | Animal Conservation in 2020

Organic cotton uses 62% less energy than regular cotton, the first reason why organic cotton is better for animal conservation.

Pesticides, insecticides, and animal conservation

7% of the world’s pesticides are used in the production of regular cotton to stop it being consumed by local wildlife. The problem with pesticides, is that they end up draining off the fields and polluting the water supply. Through direct or indirect contact, the damaging effects of pesticides are horrifying. From cancer to birth defects, they can greatly impact a species ability to survive.

For example, even owls can be affected by pesticides. Rats or mice can easily come into contact with pesticides, the effects of the toxins also make them an easy target for an owl. Indirectly poisoning them. Organic cotton does not use pesticides, or even weed killer, instead use beneficial insects to manage pests.

Cotton water consumption

Regular cotton is incredibly inefficient in its water consumption. It’s sucking up India’s water supply and drying up a shocking amount of rivers already suffering from the drought caused by climate change.

Tigers4ever, the wildlife charity the tiger collection raises money for, are working extremely hard to install solar-powered borehole pumps to supply tigers with watering holes all year round. Without them, Tigers are forced to enter local villages to drink, causing human-animal conflict, which never ends well.

88% less water than conventional cotton, which is just one reason why it is better for animal conservation.

Tigers4Ever | Tiger Collection | Pigments by Liv

How can you tell if a product genuinely uses organic cotton?

Just because a brand calls its products sustainable doesn’t mean they actually are. If you want to find out whether a garment is genuinely made using organic cotton there are two certifications you can look out for, OCS (organic cotton standard) or GOTS (global organic textile standard).

Pigments by Liv 100% certified organic cotton tees

All Pigments by Liv tees are made from 100% organic cotton that has been certified by GOTS. This means GOTS has ensured that the production of the t-shirts have positive environmental and social impact.

“To build a truly sustainable textile industry, GOTS evaluates the processing and manufacturing of textiles on the basis of both, environmental and social criteria. This means assessing everything from the chemical inputs being used to the ethical treatment of workers.”

Pigments by Liv Freebies | Rhino Tee

Thanks for caring about the planet and it’s beautiful animals,

Pigments by Liv Signature

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