Understanding Sustainability: Reasons To Choose Organic
The Soil Association is the UK’s biggest organic certification body and campaigns for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. That means their organic reach goes well beyond the food we put in our bodies. Organic agriculture affects so many aspects of our lives. From the personal hygiene products we use on our bodies, to the clothes we wear - how these ingredients and materials are grown can have a significant knock-on effect to the environment. The choices we make when it comes to organic certification can have a huge impact on biodiversity & wildlife, climate change, animal welfare and our personal health.
Organic vs Natural Skincare
When soaps, deodorants, sunscreens and moisturisers use the word natural, there is no clarity on how those natural ingredients have been farmed and harvested. For instance, genetically modified plants (GMO's) may have been grown in soils that are sprayed with pesticides. The run off from these fields can cause harm to local wildlife, affect bee populations and even the physical health of local communities. While the ingredients in these products are derived from plants, there is no assurance on what impact they have had on the environment.
On the flip side, certified organic products from the UK, US and Australia have to come from farms that use no artificial herbicides, no artificial colours, preservatives or chemicals, no use of antibiotics, no genetically modified seeds, plants or organisms. A very limited number of pesticides can be used, but these are usually products like citronella and clove oil – not petrochemicals like glyphosate. Additionally, they will come from farms that have effective land management. Crop rotations and practices to look after soil health are used, with no artificial fertilisers. This is healthier for both you and the environment, not to mention the local wildlife and communities where the ingredients are farmed.
The Case For Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is certainly worthy of your attention. Being hypoallergenic, it is a brilliant choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies, but the benefits of organic cotton run much deeper. The farming practices mentioned above have to be used in organic cotton farming, along with a whole host of other practices, techniques and methods all focused on locking CO2 into the soil, and eliminating pollution through harmful pesticides, fertilisers and feeds. Most cotton that comes from non-organic farms is genetically modified to deliver higher yields, but these plants often require specific sprays that are incredibly harmful to the environment and human health.
Look for Global Organic Textile Standard, referred to as GOTS, accreditation where possible on your organic cotton products. This ensures that the textile maintains an organic status from growing and harvesting, through to manufacturing and dying. You can find organic cotton string bags, sanitary products, cotton buds and face masks at &Keep here.
Choosing Organic Is Fairer For Everyone
From dynamic farming practices that help local wildlife and communities, to the kinder approach on our planet, choosing organic is fairer for everyone involved, including mother earth 🌍. When it comes to opting for organic food and drink, the health benefits have been well documented. The Dirty Dozen list gets circulated each year, highlighting the foods that are most susceptible to chemical nasties in farming. This gives you a simple list to tackle, meaning these are the twelve best foods to switch to organic. The Soil Association also published a Terrible Ten, a list of ingredients that should be avoided in health and beauty products.
The switch to organic can sometimes cost a little bit more, but the benefits are incredibly far reaching. Not only are you going to get a purer, unadulterated and often much better quality product, but you support a network that is dedicated to sustainable change. People dedicated to leaving this planet a little bit better than we found it.