Cotton farming takes up only 3% of the world’s farmland, but it consumes nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides in the world. In some areas, cotton can be sprayed up to 40 times in one season!
Certified cotton is cotton grown using crop rotation – the practice of growing different types of crops in the same field in different seasons. Crop rotations keeps the soil full of nutrients without the need of artificial fertilizers. For example, farmers may choose to harvest cotton one season and then harvest rice in the following season using the same field.
This farming method eliminates the need to use pesticides because long use of the land to farm the same crop year after year can cause pests and pathogens to grow in the soil. Changing crops will limit, if not break, their growth.
The chemicals used to process cotton not only cause irritation to the consumer’s skin (many are possibl carcinogens, by the way) but it also pollutes our air and waters. Many conventional cotton farmlands uses aerial spraying, which can easily pollute neighboring wildlife, communities, and harm innocent bystanders.
So remember this when you put on a comfy tee shirt on your child tonight: You are letting your child wear something that has used approximately 1/3 pound of pesticides and fertilizers in producing that one “comfortable” product.