What’s the deal with organic cotton bedsheets? Are they really better for you? Is it really worth paying that little bit more? To help you answer these questions – and a couple more – here’s six top reasons why organic cotton bedsheets trump commercially-made.
- It’s better for you
Take a moment to ponder this – commercially-made bedsheets are literally awash in chemicals. During production, they’re used to enhance whiteness, provide a wrinkle-free finish and throughout the dying process. From chlorine to heavy metals – not to mention the raft of insecticides and pesticides used during cultivation – it’s pretty scary to think about what you’re literally sleeping up against (particularly if you sleep bare skin-to-sheet!).
“Many of us spend nearly a quarter of our lives in bed. The bedroom is a sanctuary for our family; a place where we sleep, play, and relax. We take comfort knowing our sheets are organically produced and free from toxic chemicals,” say David O’Weger, co-founder of Knotte Organic Cotton Company along with his wife, Minna.
Now think about pure organic cotton – if manufactured in the right way according to Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) standards, it’s produced in 100% toxin-free environment and your guarantee of certified organic process.
“The GOTS standard covers every aspect of cultivation and production, all the way to the ecological and social impact on local farming communities. Each step of the manufacturing process is closely scrutinized to meet GOTS guidelines. Certification covers thorough inspections of farms, fields and processing facilities, detailed records, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting standards. This means we keep our environment and products safe and free of harmful chemicals,” says David.
With no nasties at any stage from soil cultivation to harvesting to production to packaging, it’s difficult to argue this way isn’t the best for your skin; even more so if you have allergies or sensitivities.
- It’s better quality
Avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides during cotton cultivation produces a more durable breed of yarn. When following a natural process during harvesting too (i.e. handpicking), each cotton boll is treated with the utmost care to preserve its integrity. It can then be crafted into sheets of much higher quality than their commercially-made counterparts.
- It feels better
Growing a higher caliber of cotton often means you get longer staples or fibers. The longer the staple, the fewer the amount of knots needed when joining fibers together. This makes for a much smoother and softer bedsheet.
- It helps – rather than harms the environment
Cotton fields require copious amounts of water. Commercial production methods also use a vast array of synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides, none of which are good for the environment.
But the organic process offers up some fantastic alternatives. Farmers use biodynamic growing methods – such as crop rotation and composting – to enrich the soil. This increases its water-retention abilities and reduces the need for excess watering. They also use natural forms of pest control such as complementary crop planting and beneficial insect introduction. All of these things have a positive, rather than negative, impact on the environment.
A true organic method is employed at every single step of the production process from seed to sheet. This includes the workers who grow, harvest and produce the final product.
In the commercial cotton world, such workers are often exposed to harmful chemicals in the farming fields and manufacturing plants leading to devastating terminal illnesses such as cancer. They’re often also paid a pittance to perform their daily job.
Organic cotton farming flies in the face of this. It seeks to protect the worker by banning the use of chemicals during production giving them a cleaner and safer environment in which to work and live (many producers are families who live on farms).
Another key way the organic cotton process helps is by ensuring basic social criteria is met – things like fair pay for workers and strict safety requirements.
As you can see, there are many reasons why organic cotton is better for you, the environment and the people that produce it. The next time you’re buying bedsheets and debating between organic and commercially-made, consider these reasons. When you weigh it all up, the choice is actually very simple.