WHAT IS ORGANIC COTTON AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Cotton has a history dating back 5,000 years and is inarguably one of the best natural fabrics to wear. It’s breathable, absorbent and washable. Cotton is a super flexible material. Did you know that other fabrics – corduroy, velvet, denim and flannel – are made from cotton? What’s not to like?
Lots, as it turns out. Cotton is a thirsty crop and more than 50% of world production takes place in already stressed water areas. And a full 70% of the cotton grown today requires irrigation. That’s a $40 billion industry that is expected to reach $46 billion by 2027 and that adds up to a lot of water. And then there’s the heavy insecticide and pesticide requirement. Add in the social impacts of cotton farming – 90% of cotton farming is done in low-income countries – and you get the picture.
The Value of Organic Cotton
But we could be starting to see the light. Today, 22% of the world’s cotton is now produced in a sustainable fashion. This organic cotton is often called “preferred” cotton. Organic cotton is grown without chemicals or fertilizers and uses 91% less freshwater and only one-third the energy of conventional cotton. And because of people like you, the demand for sustainable, organic cotton is growing by leaps and bounds. And, of course, it’s the only cotton we use at Obakki.
And more progress toward sustainable fashion comes from plastic water bottles. The recycled plastic material used in fashion today is known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate). And the good news is that it is already found in more than half of the world’s synthetic fabric.
Post-consumer plastic water bottles are finding second lives as shoes and shirts instead of languishing in landfills. Recycled plastics are being used in clothing by everyone from Gore-Tex to Gucci. And of course, in Obakki’s Essential Collection of T-shirts (along with organic cotton).
Energy Savings = Ethical Products
Estimated non-renewable energy savings run 40-85% for companies using PET material in manufacturing. This contributes substantially to global warming reduction and the clothing you buy requires far fewer resources to get to the shelf. It’s really a win-win with complementary materials that are recycled and sustainable.
Recycled plastic products are being touted as a ‘solution to pollution. The more recycled plastic comes into fashion demand, the less plastic will end up in our oceans and landfills. And at Obakki, we are committed to finding sustainable, ethical sources for our fabrics and other materials. Like using plastic water bottles and organic cotton in our t-shirts.
Because for us, it’s not just about selling a t-shirt. It’s about creating a lifestyle opportunity that consumers will embrace. An ethical lifestyle – where you wear clothing made from organic cotton, you eat as locally as possible (remember the 100-mile diet), and you care about where the things you purchase come from. It’s simple really. Ethical shopping is good for the planet and other living things. And good for your soul.
SHOP THE ESSENTIALS COLLECTION
It was a time of great reflection and planning in 2020 when the world shut down. Before we knew it, it was the autumn of 2021. Time to get back into the field. After 24 hours of travel, we landed in Nairobi, Kenya. And just like that, I was back in Africa.
Gifting with intention is on everyone’s mind these days and Obakki has been leading the way for over a decade. Our Holiday Gift Guide makes it easy to choose ethical, eco-friendly Christmas presents that will feel just as good giving as they do receiving.
There are multiple benefits to small batch production, starting with what they aren’t. They are not mass-produced in some factory somewhere. And they are not made using questionable labour practices. Just the opposite, these pieces are labours of love.