Why organic? We buy organic milk and veggies at the grocery store, but food isn’t the only area where organics have a huge impact. When you take a closer look, there are enormous differences between organic and industrial cotton.
For starters, industrial cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world. Though grown on just a tiny fraction of the world’s arable land—about 2.5 percent—it accounts for a full 10 percent of global pesticide use and 25 percent of global insecticide use. What’s more, of the 15 most commonly used agricultural chemicals, 7 are listed as probable carcinogens and 12 are believed to cause birth defects.
An environmentally sound supply chain begins by ensuring that farms are operating in the least disruptive manner possible. Flip through a farmers’ almanac, and you’ll see that crop rotation is a must for healthy crops and a productive harvest. Cash crops like industrial cotton, however, are grown year after year with no rotation, depleting the soil and further necessitating the use of chemicals. There are also plenty of downstream effects—literally. Industrial cotton requires heavy irrigation, so nearby waterways and soil are regularly contaminated with agrochemical runoff.
That’s one reason why we’ve searched long and far for cotton that meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), a certification that ensures environmentally sound manufacturing and safe conditions for laborers.
From a design perspective, organic cotton also simply makes for a better product. It’s softer than traditional cotton. And since our products are not treated with formaldehyde—a long-lasting carcinogen that renders fabric rough and weak—your Tuckerman & Co. shirts will look fresh and feel comfortable far longer than their commercial counterparts.
At the end of the day it all comes down to a pretty simple proposition -- we champion organic cotton because we want to do the right thing for the environment, workers, and consumers, and also look great while doing it!