Aug. 1, 2018Ten or twenty years ago, organic cotton apparel wasn’t something many people bought. It was expensive, hard to find, and um, EXPENSIVE. For most people, $40 for a t-shirt didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and it made even less sense financially for families.
The organic cotton industry has come a long way though, and now organic cotton apparel is more available and more affordable than ever. One company making big waves with reasonably priced organic cotton clothes for the whole family is PACT Apparel, and we love them for it.
From toddler boxer briefs to women’s sundresses and men’s sweatpants, PACT offers a little bit of everything, all made from organic cotton, all hopelessly soft, and all freakishly affordable.
Is Organic Really Better?
Not every organic practice is the end all be all of sustainability, but if there’s one crop that needs to be grown more sustainably, it’s cotton.
Cotton is a MASSIVE industry. It’s a crop that we use in just about everything, from personal care and beauty products to clothes, bedding, and furniture. Most of it is grown conventionally, and as a result, cotton is one of the leading consumers of pesticides and insecticides worldwide — a whopping 25%.
In addition to being super prone to pest damage, cotton is an incredibly thirsty crop. Just one cotton t-shirt consumes 2,700 liters of water from crop to shelf. Overfarming, not letting the land regenerate between crops, and poor soil quality has compounded the problem in conventional agriculture, making cotton incredibly challenging to grow without heavy irrigation.
Drying Up Seas — Cotton’s Impact
A stark example of conventional cotton’s unsustainability can be found in the heartbreaking story of the Aral Sea.
What was once a 26,000 square mile sea in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is now less than 10% of its original size. The sea was surrounded by cotton farms, which, due to a surge in demand, started using the rivers that fed the sea as an irrigation source.
As the surrounding cotton farms pulled the sea’s primary water sources, it began to shrink. Within ten years, the once massive Aral Sea was just 10% of its original size, shrinking further into small isolated lakes.
The surrounding fishing villages, which had once been perched on the shores of the sea, found themselves in a desolate desert ravaged by toxic winds carrying the dust of decades of pesticide residue from the seafloor.
In addition to the source of their food and livelihood vanishing, the local villagers began to suffer from respiratory illnesses and diseases caused by the pesticide dust. Those that didn’t stay and get sick had no choice but to leave their homes.
Organic Cotton Makes a Difference
Eating organic foods is high on the list, but organic clothing is something we think people should talk about more. Organic cotton uses 50% less water to grow, and thanks to the USDA’s standards, requires that farmers rotate and replenish growing sites.
The result is thicker, healthier soil with better water retention, a crop that requires less irrigation, and healthier farmers who aren’t constantly exposed to toxic pesticides and insecticides.
Aside from the incredible benefits for the planet and the farmers who grow it, organic cotton keeps your skin from coming into contact with pesticide residues on one of the most heavily saturated crops in the world. Our bodies absorb 70% of what they’re exposed to — it’s why we’re so big on using organic cotton in our pillows and mattresses around here.
Your Sweatpants Could Save the Planet
It all started with some of the comfiest organic cotton panties money can buy and exploded into one of the best places to buy organic cotton clothes for the whole family.
PACT Apparel became an instant sensation with their affordable, insanely soft organic cotton panties. Since then, their product line has grown with their following, and their stock is scrambling to keep up with the customers who can’t get enough of their stuff. (Seriously, you’d better join their mailing list for the restock updates.)
PACT is fair-trade certified, so you can rest easy knowing that their great prices aren’t because someone’s living in poverty on the other side of things. Their products are also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they never use any toxic materials or additives in their manufacturing processes.
Bigger than a brand, cooler than a company, PACT is all about treating people right, from their customers to the people growing their deliciously soft organic cotton. With companies like this making eco-friendly fashion affordable and sensible, there are finally options.
Vote with your dollar, and sink into the softest pair of sweats you’ll ever lounge in — show PACT some love and support the movement for sustainable cotton.
Have you tried anything from PACT? What did you think of it? Share your love for the brand on our Facebook and Instagram and be sure to tag us both — @AvocadoMattress and @WearPACT