With green shops and high street retailers alike cottoning on to the fact that we consumers want more organic clothes, there are now plenty of organic cotton outfits on the shop shelves to suit anyone’s style and wallet size .
But why should we wear organic cotton t-shirts? Well, cotton is one of the most sprayed crops in the world and the pesticides kill more than 20,000 farmers every year, according to the Soil Association, while over a million more get ill just from working with it. Needless to say, all those pesticides are harmful to the environment, too. Certified organic cotton is non-GM as well.
So how do you ensure your t-shirt is made from organic cotton? As always, an organic certification like the Soil Association’s, which both the People Tree and Seasalt Cornwall t-shirts carry, is the safest way to go.
There’s also a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which the Organic Boutique t-shirt lives up to. GOTS is a collaboration between existing organic certifying bodies who have agreed on a set of standards for organic textiles — from the way the cotton is grown to how the garment is manufactured.
These certifications guarantee that the whole supply chain adheres to organic standards. Unfortunately companies can still say their garments are “made from 100 per cent organic cotton” although the processing and manufacturing parts of the supply chain are not certified organic. That’s why we are unhappy about the lack of certification on the Laura Ashley and New Look t-shirts. The two retailers don’t explain anything anywhere about the organic credentials of the cotton they’re using, which lands them at the bottom of our list.