It’s no secret that the fashion industry is responsible for much of the waste and pollution we are faced with today. And it’s not a coincidence that cotton makes up the majority of textiles created each year. While cotton is often seen as a plant-based alternative to synthetic materials, the reality is far from natural.
Organic Cotton vs. Regular Cotton: What’s the Difference?
The USDA Organic logo is a common sight on fresh produce and other food items, but when it comes to clothing and hats, organic can be a confusing concept. The bottom line is that organic cotton requires the same strict standards as any other organic item. That means no chemicals, pesticides, or GMO’s. And the result is a huge difference in environmental impact, worker safety, and a truly clean end product.
Water Usage and Pollution
The amount of water used, as well as where it ends up, is a very important part of the debate between conventional and organic cotton. Depending on where it’s grown, conventional cotton uses upwards of 70% more water than organic cotton. This is because organic cotton farmers use healthy, pesticide free soil, which retains water at a higher rate during floods. This allows for less water usage in dry seasons, too.
Beyond saving water, one of the key benefits of choosing organic cotton is that it doesn’t pollute precious water sources. Conventional cotton is sprayed with pesticides that contain harsh chemicals. Eventually, drainage leads these chemicals into water sources like streams, lakes, and the ocean. With only 3% of the water on earth drinkable, keeping it chemical-free is essential. Supporting chemical free farming by choosing an organic cotton hat is a choice that keeps water clean.
Goodbye, Chemicals. You won’t find them in your Organic Cotton Hat
To be certified as organic cotton, the crop must be grown without any pesticides or chemicals. In the world of cotton farming this is a big deal. Why? Because more than 16% of global pesticide use is for cotton. This is one of the many reasons why cotton has eaned its reputation as the “worlds dirtiest crop.”Instead of pesticides, many organic cotton farmers utilize the help of beneficial insects to deal with unwanted pests. So, rather than destroying it, organic cotton farming encourages biodiversity. Plus, organic farmers typically use compost and other natural materials that build healthy soil. This allows for more CO2 to be captured and absorbed in the growing process.
Being chemical free also means that the common practice of bleaching conventional cotton is put to a stop. Conventional cotton achieves its crisp white color due to intensive bleaching. This not only uses harmful chemicals in the process, but it can also to reactions and sensitivity for those who wear bleached cotton hats or clothes. When it’s not dyed, organic cotton has a beautiful, off-white color. No bleaching needed!
Choosing Organic Cotton for Worker’s Safety (And Yours, Too)
Because cotton is such a large part of the fashion industry, it supports over 300 million workers. Those that work with conventional cotton are exposed to dangerously high levels chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, and more. Choosing organic cotton helps support organic farming communities that offer a safe work environment.
And, it ensures that the hats and clothes you wear are free of those same chemicals. After all, the skin is your bodies biggest organ. Opting for an organic cotton hat ensures that you’re not exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals.
Going GOTS Certified for Our Organic Cotton Hats
Naturally, it’s one thing to say your hat is made with organic cotton, and another to prove it. The benefits of organic cotton only work if the process really is as clean as promised. That’s where GOTS, or the Global Organic Textiles Standard, comes in. GOTS works as an international certifying body that tests textiles like cotton to ensure that their strict standards are met. For customers wanting transparency, the GOTS certification is a way to ensure items are truly organic.
GOTS certified materials, like Conner Hats Organic Cotton hats, are tested from start to finish to ensure they meet global standards. Beyond being grown without pesticides and processed without chemicals, GOTS certified organic cotton is produced by workers that have fair wages and safe working conditions. Third-party certification ensures these standards are met year after year.
Our Favorite Organic Cotton Hat Styles
Ready to go organic? Conner Hats is proud to share that almost all of our hats’ inner bands, and every single one of our labels is made with GOTS certified organic cotton (and printed with non-toxic vegetable dyes). And, we’ve taken sustainable fashion to new heights with our top-selling organic cotton hats.
Stay sustainably protected with the Sahara organic cotton hat. Featuring a snap-up side brim, this hat offers UPF 50+ protection from the elements and neutral style that goes with everything.
With a unique long-billed design, this newsboy cap offers the protection of a baseball hat with the classic style of a newsboy cap. Choose from two shades made from organic cotton and colored with non-toxic dyes.
This laid-back style is made for lounging in the sun. Stash your essentials in the brims’ secret pocket, and keep your organic cotton hat secure with an adjustable chin strap. Made with UPF 50+ rated organic cotton that will keep you well-protected from the elements.
It’s only natural to explore the great outdoors in a hat that’s as eco-friendly as they come. Mesh eyelets offer a little extra breathability for hiking, and snap-brim allows you to style this organic cotton hat as you desire.
Did you learn something new about organic cotton vs. regular cotton? Discover more about our sustainable materials with our inside look at what it takes to make a sustainable hat.