Sustainability at Wax: Organic Cotton

Wax London organic cotton garments hanging on a brass rail.

So you may have heard we use organic cotton, but do you know exactly what that means? Well if not, you’re in the right place. At Wax, we strive to be as environmentally responsible as possible; from the materials we use, to the quantities we produce, to the locations of our factories, to the people we work with. This is something we are constantly working on improving, because let’s be honest, we can all always do better, but we are proud that this is intrinsically a part of our brand. We have always been environmentally conscious and responsible, and we will always be.

Organic cotton growing in a field.

Now, we are aware that obviously the simple act of creating clothes is not perfect and no method can be 100% perfect and clean. However, we firmly believe that the benefits of organic cotton farming outweigh other forms of cotton farming, and the disadvantages.

So, why do we use organic cotton? Well allow us to run you through the benefits below:

1. Organic cotton farming strengthens biodiversity and makes for healthy soil
Rather than using harsh chemicals for pesticides, organic cotton farmers use natural methods to control pests and weeds such as crop rotation. This is where the farmer rotates what crops they grow, rather than always growing cotton in the same field and using harsh chemicals. This makes the soil healthier and helps to protect biodiversity in the region too.

2. Organic cotton farming saves and protects water
Not only does organic cotton farming keep the soil healthy but it also keeps the water clean and even saves water. Firstly the water run-off does not contain pesticides or chemicals (as mentioned earlier) and so local communities have access to clean, safe water. As well as this, cotton soil acts as a sponge; soaking up more water than necessary in times of heavy rainfall and slowly absorbing this to combat times of drought without excess watering. Pretty cool, right?

3. Organic Cotton helps combat the climate crisis
Yep, you read that right. There are no chemicals used in organic cotton farming, nor do farmers need to use synthetic resources, such as nitrogen fertilisers (which are generated by burning gas and produce CO2) when farming. This means organic cotton farming admits far less CO2 than conventional farming, and thus acts like a carbon sink.

4. It’s natural!
Ok, so this may be obvious.. But hear us out. Organic cotton is natural! It is a natural product that is grown rather than synthesised from oil. It is renewable and biodegradable in our lifetime, it comes from the soil and can go back to the soil.

Cotton being spun.

The Fabric Production Process
Ok so the growing process is clearly beneficial to the environment and we hope you agree, but now let’s delve into the fabric production. Firstly, the cotton needs to be ginnied; this is the process of turning cotton balls into thread. Once the cotton balls have been picked, they are fed into the ginning machine which separates the cotton fibres from the seedpods in order to efficiently remove any dirt, stems or leaves. Once this has been done, the cotton is then spun into a yarn, which can be threaded into a spinning machine to be woven or weaved, depending on the texture required.

Lastly, if none of the above have fully convinced you of the benefits of Organic cotton and our preference for it, perhaps the below will… In our opinion, Organic cotton aligns with six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as outlined below.

1. No Poverty
Provides work to alleviate communities out of poverty. Farmers can earn more and spend less on inputs.

2. Zero Hunger
Crop rotation is encouraged, so organic cotton is usually grown alongside food crops.

3. Good Health And Well-Being
Farmers are not exposed to harmful chemicals as used in conventional cotton farming.

6. Clean Water And Sanitation
No use of toxic synthetic fertilisers or pesticides mean no contamination of local water sources

13. Climate Action
Organic soils are healthier, acting as a carbon sink which helps mitigate climate change and reduce emission of CO2.

15. Life On Land
By following organic methods of pest control, biodiversity is strengthened in comparison to conventional cotton farming.

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