What’s all the hype about organic cotton? Is it actually better for you? Is it better for the Earth? We’re going to talk about why organic cotton came about as a solution and how it relates to your feminine care (AKA do you need organic pads?) You may have read our breakdown of organic tampons vs regular. Here, we’re going to dive more into the material cotton itself and what it means for us and our bodies.
What exactly is organic cotton?
We can’t get started before we know exactly what it means to be “organic.” In the context of cotton, “organic” simply means it’s produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other potentially harmful things we don’t want to think about when it comes to our cotton materials. Does that mean that regular cotton uses those things? Often, the answer is yes. That’s why organic cotton has become such a big player over the years. It’s safer for us and definitely, for the farmers who are exposed to the pesticides and other chemicals. However, this doesn’t mean you need to throw away every cotton t-shirt in your closet. By the time this cotton reaches our fabrics, it’s often clean of pre-existing chemicals. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t wreak a lot of havoc in the process.
Is organic cotton better than regular cotton?
By “better,” we’re usually wondering if it’s safer than the alternative and of course, better for the environment. According to research by the nonprofit focused on materials that better our environment, the Textile Exchange, the simple answer to both is yes. What we discovered in our research is that cotton is not a simple subject. However, we’re going to give you the essential facts we gathered about organic cotton and of course, how this information relates to our feminine care. Organic cotton means:
- No use of toxic chemicals
- Requires less energy and water to produce
- Better for global warming
- More breathable
What does this mean for our pads and tampons?
Not much on the surface. Pads and tampons made with regular cotton are not automatically toxic, despite the potential for toxic chemicals being used on the cotton they are derived from. However, it’s the other ingredients in them combined with the growth circumstances of cotton that make organic options at the very least, better for our environment.
“Regular” period products are often made of synthetic materials, along with cotton. These synthetic materials can cause irritation for more sensitive skin and they are typically not compostable or biodegradable. When women with sensitive skin switch to organic products, it can provide relief from irritation and of course, help save the environment in the process. However, there is one aspect that makes a difference not only for women with sensitive skin, but for everyone who uses non-organic pads or period underwear. Organic cotton is more breathable than regular cotton. If there’s one thing we need to keep in mind for optimal vaginal health, it’s that air flow is necessary. If you can choose a more breathable option (i.e. a lightweight, biodegradable period panty instead of one made of tight materials like Spandex,) it’s best to do so.
So, next time you have the choice, choose organic cotton when and where you can. It can be more expensive, so when you don’t have the option to choose an organic cotton blouse, don’t be afraid to go with regular cotton and make small changes where you can. There is affordable organic feminine care out there and we recommend making the switch.