Organic Cotton 101 from Kasper Organics

About Organic Cotton

At Kasper Organics we pride ourselves on sourcing only the highest quality and cleanest products we can find. Sourcing products mostly made from organic cotton grown in the USA. Many customers come to us after spending years reacting to their own clothing and textiles and are thrilled to find relief by switching to organic cotton. Others come to us seeking fabric that carries less of an environmental impact, and less of a health risk to the farmers (and their families) growing the crops. Organic cotton fills all these desires and more.

Conventional Cotton Basics
The growth of conventional cotton accounts for a significant amount of toxic chemicals, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. Over 15% of the world’s pesticide use, and 25% of the world’s insecticide use, goes into the production of conventional cotton. Additionally, conventional cotton accounts for drastic amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and groundwater damage. Farmers growing conventional cotton are not only more likely to be paid an unfair wage, they often suffer lifelong health effects or even death, as a result of their trade. In the usa, it is likely to be the migrant workers and their families who work in the fields, are poorly paid and suffer from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The Organic Difference
An increasing number of people are struggling with autoimmune and chronic health diseases. Respiratory illness, allergies, and environmental sensitivities are also drastically on the rise. People are turning to organic foods as a result. Doesn’t it make sense to choose organic cotton fabrics as well? Why put so much emphasis on what goes into our bodies while ignoring the sensitive organ that covers our entire body. Absorbing from everything that touches it?  When we wear conventional cotton, we are spending all day (and night) with toxic residues from our clothing, bedding, etc., all over our bodies. Have you ever been exposed to poison ivy or poison oak?  You had an intense reaction – and you didn’t even have to eat it. Exposure to your skin alone was more than enough!

Cream, brown and natural organic cotton blankets
Super soft organic cotton blankets

Organic cotton offers numerous benefits to farmers and consumers. Consumers lower their toxic load, benefit the environment, and get a higher quality product. Farmers benefit not only with their well-being, but with a better yield, numerous benefits to their farm, like more biodiversity and healthier soil, so they can feel secure knowing that they are preserving their farmland into the future. And helping to preserve our natural environment, and prevent it from becoming increasingly toxic.

Quality
While the upfront cost may be slightly more than conventional clothing at your big box stores, organic cotton clothing will hold through many more washes, and stay looking and feeling great. Getting softer with each washing. And when you have worn out an organic cotton item, you can compost it and give it back to the earth! Or cut it up to make non-toxic hankies and rags.

How to Start with Organic Cotton
Organic cotton clothing, towels and bed linens are all good starting places. Anything that goes directly against t your skin, or you are spending significant amounts of time in are good considerations for organic cotton. Try not to feel overwhelmed. Start small and replace things in your wardrobe and home gradually. Budget for a purchase of one or two items each payday suggest some items as birthday and holiday gifts.

Socks are a really great place to start. (for gift giving, as well as gift receiving.) Your socks help snug against the vulnerable skin on your feet all day! And it’s a small item. Lot’s of people buy organic cotton socks as gifts. Before you know it you will have lots of clean, healthy organic clothing that you will not only love to wear, but feel healthier in, and proud to know that you are making a difference! Not only for the environment but you are creating healthier, fair-wage jobs with every purchase.

Let’s talk certification. This page is still a work in progress, so the information provided below is not a complete overview.

GOTS: Global Organic Textile Standard

The information below is excerpts of information from their website. You can read more here:  GOTS

General Description

“The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain . . . “

Aim

” . . . to define world-wide recognized requirements that insure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.”

You can see the GOTS Certification for Organics and More, the manufacturer of our sheets, blankets and towels here:
GOTS Certificate

More soon.

 

All you need to know about Multiple Chemical Sensitives from Kasper Organics

About Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Multiple chemical sensitivities, or MCS, is a medical condition where a person has a  sensitivity to chemicals greater than the general population, and/or at lower concentrations. Exact numbers are difficult to obtain, but MCS is plaguing an increasing number of people each year.
People who have MCS become ill when exposed to a variety of chemicals, many of which are commonly encountered in everyday life: pesticides (food and clothing,) perfumes and colognes, and other scented products. Also fresh paint, new carpets, and many building materials. Not surprisingly; solvents, smoke, vehicle exhaust, industrial fumes can be culprits. And many cleaning products, even fresh ink. Also laundry detergents, air “fresheners,” fabric softeners, incense, most soaps, essential oils, shampoos and hair products, and body lotions. Pesticides and solvents are the main culprits. Symptoms can occur after inhaling, touching or ingesting these substances. A person with MCS may react to mold, pollen, animal dander, and dust, although the symptoms may be different from those of traditional allergies.
Some people have only mild chemical sensitivities, while others have a more severe form of the illness called MCS. Many people with MCS also have chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS.
It is difficult to determine how many people suffer from MCS, but it is safe to say that a large number of the population is affected by MCS issues, and many of them struggle significantly with even the basics of day-to-day life because of the health issues that have arisen as a result. An increasing number of doctors are recognizing MCS as well, and speculate the actual numbers of the population with MCS are quite large.
Multiple chemical sensitivities seem like kind of a generic name. To a certain extent, it needs to be. MCS is people reacting to chemicals, and there are so many chemicals in the world today that it can be quite costly, if even possible, to identify which specific chemicals someone is reacting to. One study stated that we are exposed to more chemicals in the first week of life than our grandparents were exposed to their entire lives. And new chemicals are being manufactured every day.  MCS is the term given to people who have some sort of reaction or sensitivity to these chemicals.

How do people get MCs?

For many individuals with MCS, their symptoms developed gradually over time. it can be difficult to say exactly how one gets an MCS, it’s not an illness like a cold that is spread. For many people, however, they can name a specific incident which occurred following which reactions begin to be noticed.
One of our customers began having sensitivities to chemicals after her work building was sprayed with everyone still inside! Other individuals note becoming chemically sensitive after being in an area that was crop dusted sprayed Airlie for mosquitoes or another sort of large exposure to chemicals while some people seem to develop MCS following about of a virus or health challenge for others the symptoms come on gradually and it can be a long and Rocky Road to finally determining MCS is that the root of their illness.
The severity of symptoms in people with MCS varies. Some individuals might experience anaphylactic reactions to exposure to certain chemicals, while others may experience symptoms milder that they pass them off as increasing annoyances. Obtaining a diagnosis of MCS can take many years and oftentimes it is through a lot of research and work on their own the MCS is finally identified.

Helping with MCS

We live in such a complex world that life with MCS can be truly overwhelming. Here are some of the tips traditionally given to MCS sufferers:
  • Removing chemical based body care products and switch to Natural alternatives.
    • Many MCS sufferers use the phrase “if it’s not something I put in my mouth it’s not something I’ll put on my skin.”
  • Eating organic food.
  • Drinking filtered water
  • Wearing a face mask when exposure is possible.
  • Switching to organic cotton clothing, bedding, sheets towels, etc. Often times MCS sufferers do best with undyed, unbleached organic cotton clothing.
  • Avoiding chemical-based cleaning products perfumes, paints, etc.
  • Washing everything before bringing it into their home.
  • Many people with MCS will rebuild or renovate their homes to be chemical free.
  • Connecting with others. Life with MCS can feel incredibly isolating. Connecting with others through social media can be incredibly powerful.