More and more people are joining the organic products bandwagon, not only when it comes to food but also to garments. This is brought about by growing awareness of the health risks inherent in the traditional method of producing fibers, the greater benefits of naturally produced fibers, and the increasing availability and lesser costs of organically produced fiber products.
In organic production, fibers are grown for at least three years without the use of synthetic chemicals. The integrity of the process is ensured by certification organizations which verify the methods and materials used by organic producers.
People are increasingly becoming aware of the dangers posed by chemicals used in fiber production. Traditional means of growing cotton uses about 25% of the world’s insecticides and over 10% of the pesticides.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 14 million acres of cotton were treated with 84 million pounds of pesticides in 2000. In the same year, the amount of synthetic fertilizers used on cotton was more than 2 million pounds. These means that people are absorbing considerable amounts of harmful chemicals through their skin, by inhaling and even ingesting the said chemicals off from clothes and sheets made from chemically treated fibers.
For many, this is enough to seriously consider switching from conventionally produced fibers to organically grown ones. Moreover, health concerns are not the only reasons why many people are changing their lifestyle to conform more to organic concepts. For instance, garments and sheets from organically produced fibers offer quality, softness, and comfort unmatched by conventional methods. People are simply discovering such irresistible benefits.
The only snag for some would-be converts is the perceived higher prices of organically produced goods. Organically manufactured linens and organic products in general did cost twice the price of their regular counterparts. However, that was several years ago. Prices of organic products have steadily gone down in recent years. And as the organic lifestyle gains popularity, related products continue to see growth of about 40 percent every year. Eventually, prices will go low enough that giving up conventionally produced garments and linens for organic ones will really offer serious benefits.
Ultimately, it will depend on the amount of support that the organic products industry receives from consumers. If buyers continue to give ample support by patronizing such products, they in turn will benefit from rising volumes of production coupled with lowering of prices. The result in the long run would be better health, more comfort derived from products, and a less contaminated environment.