Most people think of cotton to be a clean natural fabric, but In fact it is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world.
Oakland, CA (PRWEB) January 6, 2009
Renu Yoga, an LA based manufacturer has launched a new line of organic cotton apparel. Demand for sustainable clothing is on the rise, prompting an upsurge in the number of companies that are going green. According to Organic Exchange, global organic cotton sales are projected to skyrocket fivefold from 583 million in 2005 to 2.6 billion by the end of 2008.
"Most people think of cotton to be a clean natural fabric, but In fact it is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world.", says Art Rahabar, Renu Yoga's proprietor. The commercial farming of cotton accounts for over 10% of pesticides and 22% of insecticides sprayed annually, though it is grown on just over 2% of the world's arable land, according to Organic Exchange. In the United States, where cotton heavily is farmed, it's commercial production accounts for over 25% of pesticides used annually. The toxic residue from cotton farming kills wildlife and threatens the eco-system, but most alarming is that the World Health Organization estimates that 20,000 cotton workers die every year from contamination.
In light of these disturbing facts, Rahabar says that he felt compelled to offer an environmentally friendly line performance wear that was also affordable. "The move to organic was something as a company we felt was important, and inline with our vision of sustainability", says Rahabar. Although using organic materials is a bit more pricey, we strive to offer quality products, without passing along too much off the cost to consumers."
In addition to using American milled cotton, Renu also utilizes bamboo, another highly sustainable material. Environmentally responsible dyes are used to add color and flair, and also to ensure that the manufacturing process is as chemical free as possible. Each piece of clothing is hand-stitched with care at Renu's LA headquarters, and so Renu's athletic apparel is also sweat-shop free.
Increased public awareness about the downside of commercially farmed cotton has caught the attention of some larger corporations as well. Timberland now offers organic athletic wear, by mixing a small percentage of organic cotton with conventional cotton in their products. Additionally, boutique companies dedicated to organic clothing are becoming more prominent, and the trend is expected to continue.