Welcome to Ethical Fashion 101! The reason we are doing this series is because we feel its very important for you to first be aware of all the concepts of ethical & sustainable fashion. We are looking forward to make a huge change but slowly and gradually as this is no fad. It is a way of life that you and I should be happy to accept.
So, let’s talk about ‘Organic.’ We have been seeing this wave of organic foods..veggies, fruits, pulses etc. Did you ever wonder what it really meant? We’ll, As the dictionary states..
(of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.
Simple right? Now let’s understand why Organic Cotton becomes important for a sustainable fashion ecosystem.
India is among the largest cotton producing countries. As of 2014, 95% of the cotton grown in India was Genetically Modified (GM). I believe most of it is GM even today. As the name suggests, GM are Genetically Modified seeds, made in labs to essentially make crops grow faster, bigger, pest resistant and so on.
Monsanto, the company who monopolized the GM seeds sector across the globe, entered our country by licensing their product with local brands. These products were spread far and wide by targeted advertising and endorsements by celebrities too. Farmers are made to buy seeds for every season’s crop as they’re forbidden from using the harvested crops, only because the GM seeds are patented. Monsanto’s GM seeds turned out to be a failure overtime as they needed constant doses of pesticides & insecticides, that were deadly and expensive.. Which were all products of Monsanto itself. It is like a doctor prescribing a medicine that he is aware to have a side effect and then suggesting an OTC medicine for relief.
It is this ongoing cycle that led our farmers with recurring debts. I urge you to read this article that calls Monsanto, ‘The World’s most Evil Corporation.’
Having said that, the Indian Government debates on the impact of GM seeds, check this short video to get a gist of the situation:
So, what can we do as consumers? Well, the basics of any business relies on demand and supply. If we demand Organic cotton (that is not only beneficial for farmers but also has a lot of benefits for us as consumers, will cover that in another post), the supply will have to go up. Which only means that more and more farmers will have to adopt organic cotton farming techniques and maybe someday, the government will build the required infrastructure for the same.
We as consumers hold immense power, anything you do can make a difference. Take baby steps, but pledge to Be The Change.