What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic chemicals and it is not exposed to chemicals after the growth process. The production and use of organic cotton provides an environmentally sound option. Conventional cotton crops are usually heavily sprayed with pesticides. These pesticides contaminate our air, soil and water, so it is best to use them as little as possible.
Why is it more expensive?
Because the production of organic cotton can be more labour intensive, it tends to be more expensive than other cotton fabrics. The price is well worth the satisfaction of knowing that organic cotton products are truly the most environmentally friendly choice.
Is organic cotton dyed?
We offer both undyed and dyed organic cotton items. Our dyed items are made with low-impact dye, which is gentler to the environment than conventional dye. Rather than chlorine bleaching our fabrics before dying them, ours are treated with non-toxic hydrogen peroxide or nothing at all.
Does organic cotton wrinkle?
Yes, cotton is a material that will naturally wrinkle, unless it is chemically treated. None of our organic cotton products are treated with any wrinkle inhibitors.
What is thread count?
This is the number of warp (vertical) threads per square inch of a woven fabric.
What is ounce weight?
This is the number of ounces per square yard. Flannels and knits are usually measured this way.
What is Natural Cotton?
Natural cotton is grown by the same methods as conventional cotton. During the growth process it is likely that pesticides are used. However, after the plant is harvested, the cotton is not chemically treated. Most cotton fabrics are bleached white with chlorine, treated with chemical flame-retardants and even rendered wrinkle proof by the use of formaldehyde. Natural cotton is great for those who prefer to cut down on the use of chemicals and for those who care about the environment.
Is organic cotton as durable as conventional cotton?
Yes. Because it is less processed, organic cotton is often more durable than conventional cotton. Organic cotton is not treated with harsh chemicals that can wear down its fibres. A distinction here must be made between organic cotton and cotton/polyester blends. Cotton/polyester blends tend to be easy to care for and will last for a very long time. The reason is that polyester does not readily break down, even after it has been discarded.
Does organic cotton shrink?
Yes, all cotton naturally shrinks when washed. Most of our items are not pre-shrunk; however, they are cut large to allow for shrinkage. When washed and dried according to instructions, our organic cotton items will shrink to the size that is advertised.
Does organic cotton feel different that conventional cotton?
Organic cotton is soft to the touch, and it is comparable in feel to other high quality cottons.
Gaiam's team of writers brings together more than 60 years of combined experience and numerous published works on healthy, eco-conscious living. Their work has included in-depth articles, research and a rich variety of other projects in mind-body fitness, health and wellness, eco-living, alternative medicine, nutrition and related topics. Each of our writers brings an insight and passion to their work rooted in a personal interest in living a healthier, more eco-sensitive lifestyle.