It was him that made me type it in the search bar: “organic cotton”.
I was pregnant with my first baby and wondering how I could put anything but simple perfection on his skin? Of course his first clothes needed to be the best organic cotton. Right?!
As I googled I didn’t know I was about to open a door to a reality I’d known nothing about. I’d been buying organic food all my life but cotton? (Honestly I thought: probably 90% marketing, I’m not eating it so does it matter? Buuuut because this is my baby’s skin I’m running with it.) That google search has shaped my buying ever since. I’m really glad I went there.
It’s actually crazy how many times it’s been because of my kids that I’ve made changes, I put down my yucky chemical shampoo on a whim one day when I was pregnant with clayton and overhauled my skin care
and makeup, and really took a dive into the thing I’ve heard everyone say but always sort of blocked out: that our skin is our biggest organ.
But wait for it though… that’s actually not why I still choose organic cotton. Huh?
We put our bodies on these materials for (let’s be honest too few hours right now but still) so many hours. It is important that they’re clean and not chemical filled. But still personally my choice has nothing to do with me, at least it’s not my primary reason. This mama just spent $1000 to put organic sheets on beds we’ll never sleep in in a rental (don’t freak out, I bought lots of sets for lots of rooms to make my life easy!). But yep, really. And I LOVED doing it. Why?
Well, I discovered that most cotton that isn’t organic is GMO. I discovered that it’s one of the most sprayed crops ever. Ever. Then I started realising that it wasn’t just my skin at night that was touching the cotton… that people have to harvest and work with those crops, from spraying to creating the clothes. People have to live by the fields, it has to run off into water somewhere. One of the stats that made me rethink my organic-cotton-is-proabably-a-marketing-ploy stance was this:
“Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land but uses 16% of the world’s pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants), more than any other single major crop.”*
WHAT?! But yes. I’m struck so often by how fortunate I am as I purchase things. When I started to research those items for my first child I was so aware most mothers the world over don’t have that privilege or choosing purchases or even purchasing. So as I make purchases I want to make sure that I use my fortunate position to care for everyone in the system of getting those items to me.
The co-founder of Sol said: “I can’t help but think about the people making those products. Who are they? What are their working conditions? Are children involved? How can I be sure? How can my customers be sure?” –Vishal Naithani, Co-Founder. I love the stance and values of the company. It’s for another post maybe but they sheet are also fair-trade.
Sometimes that value we hold is something that doesn’t affect me too (like fair-trade chocolate) but sometimes it’s a win win like organic cotton. I want to buy cotton that cares for the people and the planet in the manufacturing process too. To me it’s not just about my own skin, it’s not just about softer sheets or clothes, it’s not just about what we sleep in, it’s not just about have the best for our paying studio guests… it’s about being part of a bigger picture. It’s about using my fortunate position to care for people. It’s about being mindful that my choices affect more than just my family and about using my purchases to do good! Which is why I LOVE doing it!