Organic Cotton - Tucson Home Magazine

Organic Cotton

As more people choose to live healthier lifestyles — from exercising regularly to eating organic produce — they're looking to bring other products into their homes that are just as healthy and organic, including cotton

Cotton is the single best-selling fiber in America today, but its popularity is not new. This versatile fiber has been cultivated and woven into fabrics for at least 7,000 years. And most of us can't get through a day without using cotton in one form or another. From drying off with bath towel and putting on your favorite jeans and T-shirt to taking off makeup and slipping between crisp sheets, cotton really is "the fabric of our lives."

Did You Know?

Cotton is one of the most chemically sprayed crops in the United States. It takes nearly 4.5 pounds of pesticides to grow one acre of it conventionally. What this means for you is that the half pound of cotton it took to make your favorite cotton T-shirt also required .03 ounces of pesticide. And while that doesn't sound like much, those pesticides are designed to kill living organisms, not just weeds and pests, and you might not want the residue next to your skin.

In comparison, organic cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, where the ground has been certified organic. And organic cotton is typically grown on smaller (sometimes family-owned) farms, and must be grown without the use of the genetically modified seeds that are often the source of conventional cotton, according to Cindy Clyde, director of product development/sourcing, and Caren Pomar, manager of product integrity for Gaiam, a healthy-lifestyles company that sells organic products through catalogs and online.

Why Buy Organic?

Many people choose to buy organic because they're earth-conscious and sensitive about fabric choice, says Margrit Laman, owner of Limited Additions, Tapestry, and Finalé. Jay Gunter, owner of J Renee Fine Linens and J Renee Sleepwear & Temptations, agrees. "By including organic cotton in your life, you help preserve delicate ecosystems around the world and protect your skin from carcinogens that may be found in conventional cotton," he says.

People also like soft fabrics close to their skin, and organic cotton feels considerably softer than conventional cotton, says Pax Broder, store/web manager for local outfit Blue Monkey Trading Company. And when it comes to a baby or grandchild, most people think it's even more important to have soft, safe fabric next to tender skin. These days, along with organic baby clothes, you can also find a range of other organic cotton baby products from toys and rattles to cribs, sheets, blankets, and mattresses, available locally at Aldrich Baby News.

The next time you're out shopping for baby clothes, T-shirts, bedding, or bath towels, consider this: Choosing organic cotton is taking one positive step toward a healthier lifestyle—for you and the planet.

How Do I Know It's Organic?

Want to be sure that T-shirt you're about to buy is really organic? Here's how:

  1. Check the product label. It should list what percentage of organic cotton is in the product.
  2. Ask your retailer to show you certificates to back up the organic claim.
  3. Visit the manufacturer's website for more information.

Where Do I Find It?

Looking for organic cotton jeans, T-shirts, linens, or baby clothes? Check out these local retailers:

Aldrich Baby News
5665 E. Speedway Blvd., 795-2400,
Organic cotton baby clothing, bedding, mattresses, toys, and rattles

Blue Monkey Trading Company
910 E. University Blvd., 624-3272,
Life is Good "Good Karma" organic cotton T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and pants

4320 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 43, 577-1960,
Organic cotton clothing

J Renee Fine Linens & Indulgences
7121 N. Oracle Rd., 219-1515,
Organic cotton bedding and towels

J Renee Sleepwear & Temptations
7111 N. Oracle Rd. 219-8568,
Organic cotton robes, as well as baby and children’s clothing

Limited Additions
4300 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 20, 577-1356,
Organic cotton clothing from Eileen Fisher, Flax, and C.P. Shades

Summit Hut
605 E. Wetmore Rd., 888-1000, and 5045 E. Speedway Blvd., 325-1554,
Organic cotton clothing

6360 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 160, 577-1929,
Organic cotton clothing from Eileen Fisher, Flax, and C.P. Shades

Toque de Pasion Boutique
3000 E. Broadway Blvd. #13, 881-0411,
Apparel, linens, bedding, also carries popular 10,000 Villages fair-trade line

W Boutique
4340 N. Campbell Ave. #185, 577-3470, and 7049 N. Oracle Rd., 877-8790
Organic cotton clothing and denim from Park Vogel and Kate Organic