Cotton is one of the oldest fibers know and dates back to around 5000 B.C. Native Americans were the first to grow cotton in America, and in the 1700’s it began to thrive in America. As technology advanced new machines were invented to make harvesting cotton was made easier. In 1793 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which separates the seed from the cotton fiber making it faster than workers doing it by hand. This new invention made it possible for farmers in America to profit from their cotton supply. Now cotton production has advanced even further making it the most used natural fabric in the world.
Many people are shocked when they find out most (if not all) of their clothing was made in a way that was detrimental to the environment. And they become equally alarmed when they learn cotton, the fiber that compromises 70% of men's clothing and 40% of women's, is one of the biggest offenders.
It turns out cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world's pesticides, more than any other single major crop, and it's also grown with copious amounts of herbicides and nitrate laden fertilizers. Not in far away lands, but in California, Texas, and several eastern states, in California alone 18 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed onto one million acres of cotton.
And where do these pesticides, herbicides, and excess fertilizers end up? They end up getting washed off of agricultural lands and into the water system, polluting both ground water and the rivers, lakes and streams that dump into the ocean. For example along the Central Coast of California, because of agricultural discharges from Salinas Valley farms, the lower Salinas River has been found to have one of the highest levels of nitrates of any river in the world.
During the summer, the river is bright green with a thick mat of toxic algae. The fertilizer doesn’t just impair the Salinas River. When the first rain comes in the fall, a huge pulse of sediment and fertilizer flushes out into Monterey Bay. This pulse has been associated with toxic algae blooms that sicken or kill sea otters, sea lions, and sea birds. And Salinas Valley is not unique, this is happening in virtually of part of the world.
How do we solve this massive problem? Well one way to help curb the sources of pollution is to use organic farming for crops. Over the last two decades many consumers have made the connection between their health and the health of their food, and they've chosen to purchase organic foods, but many of those same people aren't aware of the connection between their clothing, and the health of their drinking water, freshwater fish and coastal sea life, and once they understand the connection they will be a force that can drive change, by choosing to buy organic clothing.
Which is why PuraKai is making clothing from 100% certified organic cotton. Our organic cotton is grown by the most stringent global environmental standards available, GOTS. GOTS provides on-site inspection and certification of processors, manufacturers and traders performed by independent specially accredited bodies. The basis of the GOTS monitoring system is to provide a credible assurance of the integrity of GOTS-certified textiles. Along with organic cotton we also use 100% post consumer recycled plastic to create our polyester fibers and fabrics.
Whether you're a surfer, stand up paddler, diver, fisherman, environmentalist, or conservationist you'll have peace of mind knowing that PuraKai Clothing is helping to heal and protect the water you love.
Cotton is a natural fiber used to make clothing, bedding, towels, and many other products. The fiber comes from the cotton plant which is grown in several different countries including China, India, and the USA. It is the largest natural fiber source in the world, and according to Cotton Inc. "75 percent of men’s clothing is 100-percent cotton, and 40 percent of women's clothing is all cotton. However, 60 percent of women's clothing contains a cotton blend.” This is largely due to all the benefits that the natural cotton fiber offers.
Hypoallergenic - Being a natural fiber is hypoallergenic and great for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Unfortunately this is sometimes counteracted by the harmful chemicals used to grow the cotton, which makes it important to choose organic cotton.
Comfort - It is extremely comfortable due to its soft natural fibers, and stretches to be versatile for everyday wear. It also wicks away moisture from the body, and dries quickly. Organic cotton adds additional comfort because it is not treated with harsh chemicals, and the fabric can be weaved thinner.
Durability - When wet, cotton becomes 30% stronger, making it last longer when washed, and durable for active lifestyles.
With cotton being such a popular textile, it is interesting that only 1% of it is grown organically in the USA. There are many benefits to cotton clothing, and when you take away the harsh chemicals used to grow the cotton, you have a superior natural product. That is why choose organic products such as organic cotton is so important to help bring back organic agriculture in the USA.