Eco Raw: Why Organic Cotton is Better

May 17, 2017

 Eco Food Wrap hand-makes and waxes all our own wraps from organic cotton.

 

Often at our market stalls we have customers asking us about the raw materials that make up Eco Food Wraps, and we thought we’d take a look at just why choosing products made with organic cotton is a more sustainable option.

 

Conventional cotton often uses more pesticides than any other crop currently grown globally, and these toxic chemicals can be harmful not only to the farmers involved in growing the cotton but also could be harmful to consumers and our greater ecosystem also.

 

Here at Eco Food Wrap, we believe that choosing certified organic cotton is more ethically, environmentally and socially responsible and is a better choice- both for health reasons and because it looks and feels good in our hands, which is very important when it comes to a product you use to cover and keep your food fresh!

 

Our sustainable, reusable, beeswax food wraps feel great, and the dyes used for our beautiful designs & prints are inks that have a low impact on our environment. A low-impact dye is a dye that has been classified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (an international certification process) as eco-friendly. They do not contain toxic chemicals or mordants (which fix the dye to the fabric), require less rinsing and have a high absorption rate in the fabric, which coupled with a decreased use of rinse water create less waste water. (Source: https://organiclifestyle.com/articles/fibre-reactive-low-impact-dyes).

 

We choose fabrics using low-impact dyes as they do not contain heavy metals or other toxic substances, are energy-saving (due to less temperature used for fixing dyes) and uses less water, salt and processing materials overall. It is also more readily recyclable and there is no need for discharge and drain processes that waste large amounts of water, such as is used with other dyes and inks. Even the waste water can be reused as the whole process occurs at a neutral pH level of about 7.0, meaning no acids or alkaline need to be added to the water used. They also hold well and the colours stay bright and saturated for ages, meaning our wraps look great as well as feel great!

 

 

Organic Cotton farming is considered safer overall compared to industrial cotton farming, and it is also safer for workers on plantations, as they avoid exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins. Organic cotton is also free from toxic dyes and treatments and is free of Genetic Modification. It also has a markedly lower Carbon Footprint, using less fuel, energy and water for production, and the lack of spray run-off into our water-ways from pesticides often found in Cotton Farming means it is better for our environment overall. It does necessitate more manpower, but as these processes are usually monitored by strict criteria, it actually creates more jobs in Australia and neighbouring island nations  as there are assurances that our industry must meet fair working conditions and utilise sustainable methods for supply and demand. The harvesters experience better safety levels at work and any waste products are often used for feeding to livestock.

 

Organic Cotton is also fair trade; meaning that it is certified as having been produced to fair trade standards. Fair trade organisations create trading partnerships that benefit the producers of the raw materials, and ensure that there are standards for transparency, ethical and fair treatment and anti-discrimination/anti-child labour policies, meaning that each step of the process meets the highest humanitarian standards.

 

Not only this, but recent research has found that organic cotton is actually better for the skin and the breathable nature of this amazing organic fabric means that our Eco Food Wraps are slightly breathable, meaning they inhibit mould growth on food items in your fridge. As well as this, we can rest easy knowing that all the processes our raw materials go through are having the least impact on our beautiful world as is possible!

 

Stay tuned to our blog, as we will be featuring posts on our other raw materials throughout the year!

 

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