It’s a really good question, and one which we have based our design philosophy on at GENT Underwear. The cotton that we mass farm today is known as “Traditional Cotton” and consumes an incredible 2.9% of the world’s total water footprint. While the abuse the soil takes from mass production destroys its ecosystem and lets some pretty dangerous stuff, like pesticides and synthetic fertilizer, flow into the our waterways. Cotton is one of the most important textiles in the world; humans have farmed it for over 7,000 years, creating new uses for it over the centuries to continually better our lives. Recently however, scientists have found ways to modify certain genetics and manipulate it to suit a new purpose. For example, the bananas you eat today are definitely not the bananas our ancestors ate 10000 years ago. We as humans have slowly changed them over thousands of years to resemble the shape and taste we know now. In recent years, bananas have rapidly gotten bigger, this is all thanks to our buddies over in the labs. It’s cool, but kind of scary if you don’t know how it actually works (Like us). Overall however, we know that GMO crops have given farmers in 3rd world and developing nations a better chance of feeding their population by increasing how much food they produce and how resistant their crops are to the harsh environment.
While traditional cotton is farmed for mass production, organic cotton is farmed very differently -- sustainably and with eco-friendliness as a priority. There are no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or any of the other ‘–cides’ usually associated with modern mass farming. While traditional cotton farmers aim to eradicate any pests that may post a threat to the crops, Organic Cotton farming relies on the relationship between pests and their predators for a healthy ecosystem in amongst their crops, providing a natural habitat for these animals. Overall, it’s just better for the environment, better for us, better for the way we want to live our lives in the future.
Yes we know -- this is a mega-cliché, but the future is literally in your hands in terms of sustainability and saving the environment. When you need a new shirt or pair of socks look for Organic cotton. When you shop for eggs or meat or milk or bread, look for the organic stuff. It’s good for you and good for Mama-Earth.