Why I Buy Organic & Competition

I live in lovely village called Horningsea and one of my greatest pleasures is cycling to work. I was zooming along thinking how lucky I was on this bright blue September day... when suddenly I saw a tractor spraying and I felt sick. The dark side of agriculture was brought home. You'll find a personal post from me below, but to celebrate Organic September we're running an organic competition! We have 8 pairs of Demeter-quality organic cotton socks to win!  To enter, tell us, why do you buy organic?  Comment below - each comment will count as an entry.  Plus, if you share this link anywhere online, we'll give you not one but two bonus entries - simply comment and tell us where you've shared - twitter, facebook, forums, all are good for us!

Organic Cotton Socks for Children

Why I feel lucky I hope you're entered the competition and are feeling lucky.  After passing the spraying tractor, a moments reflection and I felt lucky too. I was briefly exposed to a bit of herbicide. Nothing in comparison to what a conventional cotton farmer has to deal with daily. Many chemicals used in cotton farming are acutely toxic. Some are so dangerous that 120 countries agreed at a UNEP conference in 2001 to ban them - unfortunately many are still being used. The World Trade Organisation estimates 20,000 deaths and three million chronic health problems annually are the result of the use of agricultural pesticides in developing countries. I feel very lucky to live in Britain, where we are at the forefront of change, even if it is slow.

Wearing organic cotton

Choosing organic cotton All our cotton at Cambridge Baby and Good Natured Clothing is organic and we wouldn't have it any other way.  (You can view some lovely organic cotton children's clothing here.) A whopping eight times more pesticide is used on one hectare of conventional cotton than on other crops. These chemicals are incredibly expensive for small holder farmers. In some Indian states, chemicals account for 60% of farmers' budgets.  Over a 1000 suicides in one state alone been attributed to debt. And of course, intensive pesticide use reduces biodiversity, damages ecosystems, and contaminates water supplies. Because pests build up a resistance to pesticides every year, farmers have to use more pesticides to grow the same amount of cotton - increasing the annual damage to the environment. The small extra we pay for quality organic cotton means that farmers receive a premium for organic cotton enabling them to live a healthier more sustainable lifestyle. All our organic cotton is also produced with social sustainability criteria in mind - fair trade principles are embedded in the organic certifications we use, even if the cotton is not Fair Trade certified. How organic cotton farming helps Organic cotton farming is kinder to the environment and helps farmers make a sustainable living. Organic cotton farmers use natural pesticides to keep pests off the crops, without eliminating their natural predators. Intercropping with sunflowers and millet help mask the smell of cotton from weevils that love it. So cotton can be successfully grown without pesticides by enrolling the help of insects and fungi that attack the cotton pests as our many organic cotton farmers demonstrate. Once chemical pesticides are no longer used the presence of beneficial insects increases dramatically while artificial traps, trap crops and host crops can also help to control the pests. The need for chemical fertilizers can be eliminated by utilising organic manures, rotating crops, intercropping, and drip irrigation. Water in organic cotton growing Water use is another concern, even with organic cotton production methods.  Conventional methods of cotton production are literally responsible for creating deserts. Bishopton Trading's organic cotton, however, which we are proud to stock, is predominantly rain-fed.  And soils fertilised with natural manures have a higher hummus content and are better able to retain water. Most fabric used for clothing has many chemicals added to it to enhance the feel and colour and to reduce creasing - our organic cotton clothing doesn't.  One of the few additions is the dye - and this has to be accepted by organic accreditation bodies.  Bishopston Trading, for example, alongside many of the brands we stock, use GOTS accredited (Global Organic Textile Standard) non-azo reactive dyes to stand up to machine washing.  The only treatment to their organic cotton yarn is a rice water starch applied to the warp threads to enable the weavers to span the looms - this quickly washes out. And, Bishopston Trading say that their white cloth is bleached without the use of chlorine - so you can be safe and comfortable on your organic bed linen with a clean conscience. Good to be a part of change I feel lucky - I'm in a position to be able to choose change. Working for Cambridge Baby, who sell only organic cotton, makes me really happy. Being able to choose to buy organic makes me feel good because I know I'm contributing to creating a world that I'd like to live in. Wheat fields filled with poppies and butterflies, rather than wheat deserts, healthy organic cotton farmers and families around the world. We'd like to know what you think too.

30 Responses to “Why I Buy Organic & Competition”

  1. Mandie Wallace says:

    I buy organic because it is better for my children. It is free of irritating chemicals which is essential for my daughter who has very sensitive skin.

  2. melissa says:

    I buy organic as I used to help on an organic farm. When you start thinking about all the rubbish that is used on non organic food it opens your eyes a bit.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I buy organic because I like to think that there is care in the clothes I put on my children, that there is also ethics and morality. Because they last longer and look more beautiful!

  4. Julie says:

    Love those socks! I buy organic because I like to feel good about what’s going on and in my families bodies.

  5. Julie says:

    I shared this on facebook!

  6. Abigail says:

    I’m feeling lucky 🙂

  7. Abigail says:

    And shared this page on facebook too

  8. lauren twemlow says:

    I buy organic because for me it is the natural thing to do. I dont want materials laden with chemicals against my childs skin. I cant condone the way non-organic items are produced so for me organic is the only way!

  9. Dora Toneva says:

    I also feel lucky knowing your online shop.There are a lots of lovely cotton and wool clothes and socks as well for little ones as for adults.And also i’m lucky i can bye organic and fair trade clothes to my boy, no matter they are more expencive than the conventional ones.It is important to to teach him since very little of ethics and also to protect the planet he will hopefully live on.

  10. Dora Toneva says:

    Shared on FB.:)

  11. Sherrill Plumridge says:

    The world needs us to go back to natural ways. ‘Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees’ to quote from the song.

  12. Woolies says:

    I think buying organic is about feeling safe. Feeling secure that what you are buying for your family will not harm them in any insidious way. Also, going back to a simpler time.

  13. Sarah Higgins says:

    I buy organic because I like to minimize our family’s exposure to dangerous chemicals and because I want to help protect our planet for future generations.

  14. Bryony vickers says:

    I buy organic out f respect for all living things that live on the earth. We are far too blithe in the way we alter the world purely to suit ourselves, and to prioritise profit over balance.

  15. Mollie T says:

    I buy organic because it is safer for the world and for all of the little ones in it = )
    I try to do my part for the current environmental situation

  16. Mollie T says:

    I shared on facebook

  17. stephanie says:

    I have always preferred organic since I was working on my master degree in fashion. The research I found about how non- organic impacts the environment and the implications that has on our health was so saddening to me. The future of our children and the earth inspired me to pursue my thesis in sustainable shoe design. I also visited several cotton farms here in northern California, both organic and chemically treated and was shocked at how easy organic farming is and how MOST farmers want organic but the supply demand is not even. There also was a local doctor in the area that spoke to me about all of the allergies and sicknesses that people who lived in this particular area were having due to the spraying of pesticides. I was mortified by this and more inspired to be part of the change. This is why I choose organic ,for my family, future children, and our world.

  18. stephanie says:

    i also posted in facebook

  19. Helen East says:

    Hi Stephanie, very inspiring to hear your first-hand account – thank you! Helen

  20. Helen East says:

    Thanks Dora, and we always are happy to know we’re valued too, really nice to hear it expressed. Helen

  21. Rebecca says:

    Gorgeous. Organic because the world cannot take everything we throw at it. (Sharing on our NapNap Facebook page and tweeting @napnaphq)

  22. Sarah Cotton says:


  23. louise m says:

    I buy organic because i think my family are exposed to enough chemicals as it is!

  24. Rachel Hamilton says:

    I buy organic to save the bees and help protect the planet and the ecosystem.

  25. Fee Taylor says:

    I buy organic because I don’t like the use of chemicals on things I put in and in my children, I specifically buy organic cotton because of how it’s grown for both us who wear it and those who have to work o the farms growing it, being surrounded by chemicals on non-organic farms.

  26. Elsa says:

    I started buying organic clothes when I was pregnant with my first child. We’d been eating organic food for years and after reading about the chemicals used in standard cotton farming and then afterwards during the production of the clothes, I said there was no way our baby was wearing or sleeping on anything non-organic. I love the feel of the material and I feel good that our children wear organic clothes and that we’re supporting organic farming and clothes production.

  27. Eli R. says:

    I love natural things and I like cotton, but nowdays cotton is everything but natural.
    The organic cotton fibers are not loaded with chemicals thus much more soft & tender.
    And as one good thing clings to the other good thing- while it is good for the humans it is good for the nature too.
    Last but not least there is the fair-trade side of the bussiness, which helps to improve the conditions of the workers & the farmes.
    Thank you for bringing us the best 🙂

  28. Marion says:

    I buy organic because it’s surely better for all of us to be as natural as possible, and certainly safer for my family.

  29. Trina says:

    I started buying organic when I had my first child to reduce the amount of chemicals his little body was exposed to. We have switched over more and more since then and I would live to have everything in our life organic if we could afford it!

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