Right now there’s a good chance you’re wearing at least one clothing item made from cotton – regular, non-organic cotton.
And last night you likely slept on cotton or cotton blend sheets, and after this morning’s shower, dried yourself off with a cotton towel. You might even have used cotton balls or swabs getting yourself ready for the day.
If so, you may be surprised to learn that you exposed yourself to potentially dangerous pesticides, herbicides, harsh dyes and other toxic chemicals. Yes, even if the item wasn’t brand new and had been laundered.
You also supported the GMO industry...
That’s right. Every time you purchase anything made with non-organic cotton, you’re contributing to the coffers of some of the most irresponsible and untrustworthy corporations on the planet.
I know what you may be thinking... You'd love to buy organic clothing, underwear, and socks but just can’t afford the luxury. And much of what is available doesn’t suit your taste.
These are valid points. Organic cotton clothing can be pricey. And some of it isn’t very stylish.
I recently started to wear more organic cotton clothing, simply because I recognize the potential dangers with conventional cotton.
And I wanted to stop funding the evil companies placing profit ahead of human and environmental health!
Now I’ve taken the next step... I’ve found a way to help you get your hands on clothing that you can feel good about wearing, like how it looks – and can afford.
6 Things You May Not Know About Your Clothes... and If You Did, You Might Think Twice About Owning Them
There are at least six reasons to ponder what’s hanging in your closet right now:
- Non-organic cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop.
Conventional cotton production uses up to 25 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. A third of a pound of these chemicals are used for producing the cotton for just ONE t-shirt.
Half of the $2 billion spent on the chemicals sprayed on crops is classified as “hazardous,” with five of the most commonly used pesticides considered probable carcinogens.
A single drop of the commonly used insecticide aldicarb, absorbed through the skin, is enough to kill a man, yet it is still used in 25 countries, including the U.S. This presents a danger to farmers, neighbors, cotton pickers, fiber and garment makers, and you, the end user.
- Nearly all conventionally grown cotton is genetically engineered (GE).
Organic cotton only accounts for one percent of global cotton production. Today, about 94 percent of cotton is genetically engineered. Bt cotton, a GE variety introduced in 2002, requires 13 times more pesticides than other types, and produces its own internal pesticide.
The non-organic cotton industry is the highest user of the herbicide glyphosate, a “probable” human carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The accumulation of exposure to glyphosate through food and your skin can profoundly affect your mitochondria and also put you on the path to conditions linked to dysfunctional mitochondria, including metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, cancer, and high blood pressure.
- Some synthetic clothes are made with carcinogen ingredients and large amounts of petroleum in an energy-intensive process.
Synthetic fabrics are made from man-made chemicals instead of natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool. Polyester, the most widely used manufactured fiber, is made from petroleum in an energy-intensive process requiring large amounts of crude oil.
The process releases emissions that include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter and acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, which can all adversely affect your respiratory system.
Acrylic may be even worse. The key ingredient of acrylic fiber is acrylonitrile, a suspected brain, lung, and bowel carcinogen and mutagen that targets the central nervous system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), acrylonitrile enters your body through your skin and lungs.
- The toxic chemicals added to clothes don’t always wash out, even after repeated laundering.
Many people are surprised to learn that the chemicals used to produce clothing don’t always wash out, especially those used for bleaching, sizing, dying, straightening, reducing shrinkage, resisting stains and odors, fireproofing, mothproofing, and reducing wrinkles and static.
These chemicals are often applied with heat and bonded to the fiber. Plus, some imported clothes are now impregnated with long-lasting disinfectants that are very hard to remove.
One such imbedded chemical is formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound (VOC) and “probable” carcinogen, according to the EPA and National Cancer Institute.
In large enough amounts, slowly releasing formaldehyde vapors can also cause rashes, headaches, burning eyes and nose, breathing difficulties, coughing, sore throat, joint pains, nausea, fatigue, and restless sleep.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PCFs), like Teflon, are also used to treat fabric to resist stains and wrinkles. I advise against cooking with non-stick pans, so I certainly don’t recommend wearing these toxic chemicals!
Keep in mind, your skin absorbs most anything that comes into contact with it – good or bad. So, there’s no barrier to keep toxic substances from directly entering your bloodstream!
- The non-organic textile industry is polluting our environment, harming our soil, and wasting precious resources.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) estimates that it takes 5,283 gallons of water to produce two pounds of conventional cotton. For just ONE t-shirt, it takes about 400 gallons of water, and that water is often siphoned from drought-threatened rivers and lakes in the cotton-growing regions.
With worldwide water shortages, I believe that’s inexcusable.
Toxic and carcinogenic pesticide residues flow into lakes, rivers, and other waterways, harming plants and wildlife.
A recent study looked at the long term impact of Bt cotton on soil organisms. Bt cotton is having a serious impact on the numbers of beneficial soil enzymes that make soil fertile. Total biomass of the soil was also reduced nearly 9 percent in the areas studied.
- The human cost of conventional cotton is enormous.
Besides the estimated 20,000 people dying each year in developing countries from pesticide exposure (according to the WHO), there is also a link to developmental concerns and birth defects in children, and the weakening of immune systems.
Plus, there’s the tragedy of gross human rights violations and child labor in cotton-producing third world countries. The cotton industry has become a modern form of slavery.
In Uzbekistan, the second largest cotton exporter in the world, one-third of the population, including children as young as 7, must labor for the government-owned cotton industry with little clean water to drink, bare hands and no gear to protect them from the toxic pesticides.
How Your Active and Workout Clothes May Be Polluting the Environment and the Food Supply
Stretchy yoga pants and leggings, and cozy fleece jackets and hoodies have become all the rage...
However, there’s a dark side to these much-adored articles of clothing.
Every time you wash yoga pants, leggings, or a fleece jacket, sweatshirt, or bathrobe made from fleece, you release plastic microfibers into the water.
Estimates range up to 250,000 microfibers, depending on the age of the garment. The older the clothing, the more microfibers are released. Lower-quality leggings, fleece and acrylic fleece shed the most – up to 170 percent more than higher quality brands.
While treatment plants can remove some of these microscopic plastic fibers from the water, about 40 percent end up in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Even worse than the now-banned microbeads in face scrubs, these microfibers are mistakenly eaten by fish and other wildlife and accumulate in their digestive tracts.
As you go up the food chain, the fibers concentrate in the bodies of larger animals. And then, when you eat the fish or the animal, you consume the microfibers.
What’s especially concerning about microfibers, besides being plastic, is the fact that they act like sponges and soak up toxins like pesticides, PCBs, and oil as they move up the food chain.
Microfibers have become so widespread in the environment, one researcher found that these plastic fibers now make up 85 percent of human-sourced debris on coastlines, both salt and fresh water, around the world!
How Organic Cotton Is the Perfect Partner to Regenerative Agriculture
I think you’ll agree... there must be a better way to help protect our health, the environment, our soils, and our precious natural resources.
In contrast, organic cotton, a natural fiber, offers a much better alternative, especially when you consider its effects on agriculture:
- Its non-GE seeds haven’t been treated with fungicides or pesticides
- Uses only organic-approved fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides from plants, animals and minerals to avoid harming soil organisms
- Reduces environmental footprint by using 71 percent less water and 62 percent less energy
- Plants are 80 percent rain-fed, reducing reliance on local water sources
- Reduces field emissions from fertilizer, and reduces nitrogen and phosphorus deposits into water
- Increases soil protection that in turn helps prevent erosion
- Promotes safe work and better livelihoods for farmers
When you buy organic cotton, you are supporting cleaner air, water conservation efforts, improved soils, and a better life for farmers.
Organic cotton farmers urgently need your support. When you make a purchase – any clothing purchase – you are voting with your dollars. You are either saying “Yes!” to organic cotton and a better way of life for farmers around the world... or you’re saying “Yes!” to unscrupulous mega-corporations who value only their bottom line.
Watch Out for “Blending” or “Sustainable Cotton” – Make Sure You’re Getting Certified Organic Cotton
Because organic cotton is limited worldwide, you must be very careful when buying an article of clothing labeled “organic cotton.”
In their attempts to meet the growing market for organic cotton, some major retailers have teamed up to form the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to ensure they have access to “sustainable cotton”.
The only problem is... this isn’t necessarily organic cotton. It’s often genetically engineered cotton!
These large brands are doing what’s called “blending.” They’re using organic cotton with non-organic, GE cotton in the same garment.
While some of these companies may want to do the right thing, the conventional cotton corporations dominate the industry and there simply isn’t enough organic cotton to fill the need of these major retailers.
So how can you be sure what you buy is really organic cotton?
Just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets standards for organic food, Global Organic Textile Standards, or GOTS, provides third-party certification for the organic textile industry.
GOTS oversees the growing, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading and distribution of all textiles made with at least 70 percent certified organic fiber.
Like organic food standards, a textile product carrying the GOTS Organic seal must contain a minimum of 95 percent certified organic fibers, while one with the “made with organic” label must contain a minimum of 70 percent certified organic fiber.
GOTS-certified textiles must be produced without conventional cotton’s pesticides, bioengineered ingredients, formaldehyde, chlorine bleaches, heavy metals or other chemicals not approved by organic standards that may be detrimental to humans and the environment.
And you don’t need to worry about harmful residues remaining on the clothing, like with conventional cotton.
When you buy certified organic cotton, you don’t need to wonder if it’s the “real deal.” GOTS guarantees it!
Introducing SITO... The Greek Goddess of the Harvest – Real GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton
Sito, also known as Demeter in ancient Greek religion and mythology, was the goddess of the harvest and agriculture.
According to Greek mythology, Sito presided over the fertility of the earth, the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death.
I believe it’s only fitting that the name of my line of organic cotton clothing be called SITO, in honor of what we’re trying to accomplish with organic cotton: regenerative agriculture and fertile soils around the world.
Here’s another way to look at the name SITO:
Either way, SITO describes our mission perfectly. Every time you see our label you’ll know we’re taking a stand for organic cotton and regenerative agriculture!
I’m excited to announce that our SITO line includes nearly everything you need, from socks to underwear to workout clothes and sweatshirts, and even dresses for women! Plus, we have soft and cozy baby and adult blankets and thirsty dish towels.
We’ve got your entire family covered, too – babies, children, women and men!
The Plight of the Indian Cotton Farmer... and How We’re Taking a Stand
Bt cotton – the type of cotton that produces its own deadly toxin – was introduced in India in 2002. With its introduction, cotton farmers were promised they would use less pesticides and their yields and farm income would increase.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Not only did pesticide use rise, income and crop yields declined.
And Indian farmers stricken with debt started committing suicide – often by drinking the pesticide itself – in record numbers. In 2013, 11,772 farmers committed suicide – 44 deaths every day. And many of those farmers grew cotton.
Along with unmet promises, unseasonal rain and hail took their toll. But also with Bt cotton, secondary pests emerged, forcing farmers to use much greater amounts of costly pesticides — as much as 13 times more!
In addition to the pesticides farmers have to apply to the plants, Bt cotton is a pesticide in itself (it’s even registered that way!). The Bt toxin is produced in every cell of the plant, so that’s just one more source of toxic exposure for farmers and pickers.
Bt cotton seed also costs 4 to 10 times more than conventional hybrid seed, and farmers are forced to buy new seed every year when they grow conventional cotton.
In recent years, increasing numbers of Indian cotton farmers have slowly begun bucking the conventional cotton mega corporations and switching over to growing organic cotton.
These farmers are finding that organic cotton is not only better for the health of their families, workers and animals, it guarantees them a minimum price for their harvest.
And we’re there to support these brave farmers every step of the way...
Why Indian Organic Cotton Instead of American Cotton?
My goal is to bring you affordable organic cotton clothing that you can wear every day.
Because of its very limited supply, right now, American-grown organic cotton is more than twice the cost of organic cotton from India.
While we just celebrated the start of the first GOTS certified project in the United States for organic cotton, India has multiple on-going projects.
We’re supporting American-grown cotton with our Organic Cotton Dirt Shirts, and doing all we can to help reignite the U.S. organic cotton industry.
However, there’s currently a lack of infrastructure and various bottlenecks slowing the growth of the U.S. industry, unlike India’s already established organic cotton industry.
It’s going to take time to rebuild the U.S. organic cotton industry to the heights it was years back. But, believe me, once we accomplish this milestone, we’ll be right there.
In the meantime, let me tell you a little secret about Indian cotton...
It isn’t second best.
Indian organic cotton naturally has a longer staple length that is very, very soft. When it comes to undergarments and socks, you can’t beat it for comfort!
You Can Feel the Difference with My SITO Organic Cotton
My organic cotton feels different than conventional cotton. With its long staple length, it:
- Feels soft and comfortable next to your skin
- Absorbs and controls moisture
- Provides warmth and comfort
- Keeps you cool by pulling heat away from your skin
- Prevents moisture from building up between your skin and your clothes
- Allows air to flow easily through fibers and, unlike synthetic fibers, permits your skin to “breathe”
When you're active, organic cotton and other natural fibers wick away body moisture from your skin and allow it to evaporate naturally. In other words, natural fibers let your body "breathe."
Synthetic fabrics just don't provide the same ventilation that you get from organic cotton and other natural fibers.
When it comes to working out, in my opinion, you just can't beat organic cotton. Because of organic cotton's many benefits, you naturally feel more comfortable.
Here's something to consider… Cotton can hold up to one-fifth of its weight in water before feeling damp. That simple fact helps make hot, humid weather more bearable, especially when exercising outdoors.
You may get better value for your money, too, when you buy organic. Organic cotton has high tensile strength which becomes 30 percent stronger when wet, allowing it to withstand repeated washings and everyday use.
Beautiful, Lasting Color Without the Conventionally Used Azo Dyes, Formaldehyde, Bleach, GMOs, Phthalates, and Heavy Metals
Just like our Certified Organic Cotton sheets and towels, every clothing item is dyed using low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes for great lasting color at the lowest impact possible.
A low-impact dye is a dye that has been classified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (an international certification process) as eco-friendly. Generally, low impact dyes do not contain toxic chemicals or mordants, chemicals that fix the dye to the fabric.
Fiber-reactive dyes are low-impact dyes that bond directly with the fibers.
The benefits of using low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes include:
- Contain no heavy metals, formaldehyde, GMO’s, chlorine bleaches, acetone, or other potentially dangerous substances
- Colors are brighter and richer and are wash-fast
- Better for the environment because of less waste water runoff and energy savings
This earth-friendly dying process requires less rinsing and have a high absorption rate in the fabric, which translates into less waste water. There’s less than 5 percent runoff into the environment, compared to 60 percent for regular cotton.
The OEKO-TEX Standard provides assurance that it’s been tested by an independent laboratory and found to be free of harmful levels of more than 100 substances, including azo and allergenic dyes, phthalates, heavy metals, and pesticides that are commonly used with commercial cotton.
Low-impact dyes cost much more than conventional dyes, but for something your body is exposed to daily, like clothing and sheets and towels, I believe it’s worth the extra cost.
Are You Ready to Make the Switch to Organic Cotton?
You’re careful about what you put in your body. What about what’s on your body?
Your clothes are an integral part of your life, and many people wear some type of clothing next to their skin 24 hours a day!
Don’t you think it makes good sense to make that organic cotton?
Now you can have it all – comfort, security, quality and smart design – all at a reasonable price, too.
Our SITO line includes women’s, men’s, children’s, and babies’ wear, as well as dish towels and baby and adult blankets.
We’ve got socks, underwear, workout clothes, t-shirts, leggings, sweatshirts, bathrobes, and dresses. And they’re all stylishly packaged, perfect for gift-giving!
When you choose organic cotton, you’re providing a healthier option for yourself, your family, and your friends.
But you’re doing much more, too. You’re helping to support farmers who are willing to stand up to the mega-corporations and do the right thing for their families, their workers, and their land.
With organic cotton, you’re supporting a cleaner, healthier world that benefits the environment and its inhabitants, including the soil, animals and insects.
While I’ve made sure the prices are as reasonable as possible, I certainly can’t compete against the cheap fast fashion rolling into the country. Choosing organic cotton clothing may still cost you a few cents more, but isn’t your well-being worth it?
Delight yourself. Start shopping now and order Certified Organic Cotton clothing today!