Why Is Organic Cotton Better Than Regular Cotton?
Does buying organic really make a difference? Why is organic cotton better than regular cotton? Is organic produce better for you? With only 4.8% of UK consumers choosing to buy organic products, despite identifying as passionate about environmental issues, the benefits of organic products clearly aren’t being communicated properly.
We looked to an expert to confirm the consumer benefits of investing in organic. Erik is the founder of Swedish Eco, an organic apparel brand working to create positive impact while giving the likes of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Bjorn Borg a serious run for their money. We caught up with Erik to learn more about what ‘organic’ means to shoppers.
What led you to found an organic cotton label?
It might sound like a cliche but for us it’s about doing something. When I was a little boy there was a note in my grandpa’s office that said, “A person cannot do everything, everyone can do something, together we can do a lot.” And together with the organic fashion community we want to do a lot. As a company we want to inspire, educate and learn.
I started with a coffee business and was a part of the organic coffee movement in Sweden, so I thought why not start a similar journey with fashion? Focusing on sustainable basics wasn’t a strategic move, it kind of just happened. But along the way we realised it was a really good move, it suited our way of thinking, inside and out.
Why is organic cotton better than regular cotton?
Firstly I’d say it’s about the feeling. Wearing a pair of boxers that’s been produced in a sustainable and fair way obviously feels better but so does the material itself. Natural fibres are better for your body, they become softer with every wash, they’re more breathable and being biodegradable and free from microplastics, they’re also better for the environment.
When I say ‘produced in a fair way’ I mean the natural cotton fibre is produced organically AKA without the use of any pesticides or dangerous chemicals, and that it’s made in safe, certified factories by workers who are paid a fair wage.
What do you think prevents people from shopping sustainably?
I believe it’s primarily that there’s still a lack of knowledge prevents consumers from shopping sustainably. As soon as shoppers become more aware of what sustainability actually means, what slow fashion is and what the impact of the clothes they buy is, once they start to question their daily habits and this becomes second nature, I think more and more people will cross over what I see as the “right” side – the side of the conscious consumer.
What are your tips for people who might want to start living more consciously?
Just start by doing something. Don’t compare yourself others, just try to be slightly better today than you were yesterday. Try something new and take small steps. If you start to today you’ll come a long way in a year or two. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time.
How can consumers tell if a product is sustainably made or not?
Look for the known certifications. Obviously this can be a challenge for shoppers as presently, there are a lot of different certifications and regulations, but it’s start looking for them, familiarising yourself and asking brands the important questions. Compare Ethics and its network can of course help consumers with this too.
What’s next for Swedish Eco?
We’re currently exploring a new collection of organic cotton T-shirts that celebrate the brand’s Swedish roots. And as ever, we’re working to make sustainable fashion the norm and not the exception. Swedish Eco is just a small player in the fashion eco system, but we are very proud player. All we ask is that you join us in trying to change the world.