In past ‘If Textiles Could Talk’ blog posts, I wrote about the dreadful overuse of water, pesticides, and toxic chemicals by the textile industry. Cotton is the most extensively produced natural textile fiber on the planet, and according to the USDA, in 2003 55 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on 12.8 million acres of conventional cotton in the U.S. alone.
The Organic Trade Association lists the many reasons why cotton should be grown organically in the link below.
At Lifekind, we only use organic cotton, and our colored items are not dyed. They’re made with cotton that grows in colors naturally on the plant, a.k.a. colorgrown cotton. For example, our Organic Cotton Travel Pillow and some of our Baby Products like the Certified Organic Cotton Play Mat this little farmer’s on:
- The cotton’s natural color doesn’t fade!
- It has softer feel than conventionally grown and processed cotton!
- It’s naturally pest resistant, so toxic pesticides are not needed!
- No bleaches and dyes are needed, saving energy, water, and the environment!
Kudos to Sally Fox, a modern-day textile hero, for reinventing colorgrown cotton! While naturally pigmented cotton is believed to have originated 5,000 years ago, the fibers were not long enough to be used in today’s textile machines. Through careful breeding, in the 1980s Sally created colorgrown cotton with a longer staple suitable for spinning on a modern machine.
Colorgrown cotton is being used in eco-fashion and by handcrafters. You can find these healthy, earth-colored products under the trademarks FoxFibre and Colorganic: http://www.foxfibrecolorganic.com/en/
I’m a huge fan of FoxFibre socks, and they’re available at my local natural foods store: http://www.vreseis.com/socks.html
For more about Sally Fox, read Karen Brown’s Etsy blog post:
And for more history on Sally Fox: http://vreseis.com/sally_fox_story.htm