Why Lagoped does not use organic cotton
The choice of circular production that does not touch Nature.
For several years, trends in the fashion industry have been towards more environmentally friendly materials, and that is very good news. Eco-responsible fashion and/or the outdoor sector have thus seen the emergence of organic cotton, recognized as having a better environmental impact than cotton. At Lagoped, our commitment to sustainability and circularity is even greater and goes beyond these trends since we have chosen an alternative path by rejecting organic cotton in favor of recycled cotton, more aligned with our ecological and ethical values.
We take stock of our choice of materials to help you understand the environmental and ethical challenges of organic cotton and discover eco-responsible alternatives.
From cotton fiber to organic cotton production
In the fashion industry, cotton is a ubiquitous material due to its excellent textile properties. It is obtained from a natural plant fiber derived from the down which surrounds the seeds of the cotton plant, grown in many regions of the world. An available natural resource that has brought joy to the clothing industry.
Why is cotton used so much for textile manufacturing? The first reason is undoubtedly its comfort and breathability. Cotton offers a softness to the touch and allows air to circulate between its fibers, providing comfort in hot weather. Cotton fiber is used for all types of clothing: from t-shirts to underwear. In addition, cotton provides good moisture absorption from the skin and helps keep the skin dry.
On the garment manufacturing side, cotton fiber can be used alone or mixed with other fibers to increase the qualities of the fabric, and it lends itself easily to dyeing and printing. Generally speaking, it is robust and offers a longer lifespan to the garment. A last advantage, and not the least, is the ease of maintenance of cotton fiber: it does not require special care.
However, as you might expect, conventional cotton fiber cultivation has considerable negative impacts on the environment. This is why organic cotton and other alternatives are growing in popularity.
Organic cotton is grown using organic farming methods, that is, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The objective of organic farming is then to minimize the environmental impact while promoting sustainable agricultural practices that respect biodiversity.
Through the use of organic methods, we can recognize that the production of organic cotton has advantages compared to the manufacture of non-organic cotton, namely: reduction of the impact of pesticides and fertilizers on the environment and on the health of farmers, encouragement of biodiversity and crop rotations, improvement of soil quality, reduction of the carbon footprint, better remuneration of farmers.
However, organic cotton production still has drawbacks. Like many organic productions, the manufacture of organic cotton fiber offers lower yields than conventional cultivation, which generates high production costs and requires farmers to obtain expensive organic certification. Beyond these disadvantages, the demand for organic cotton is still too low compared to the overproduction of the clothing industry which moves at two speeds. In addition, for many manufacturers, relying on cotton production is risky: cotton being a natural fiber, it is subject to the vagaries of the weather, pests and crops can be damaged. This is why polyester is today the most used material and has become the “magic fiber for the textile industry” according to the Capital show, “Solutions for the planet” broadcast on Sunday February 4, 2024 on M6.
Recycled cotton, an obvious choice for Lagoped clothing.
At Lagoped, because we refuse to produce our clothes from the extraction of new natural raw materials, we have chosen to produce our sweaters, shirts or t-shirts from recycled cotton. Thus, we reuse existing materials rather than producing new fibers. The benefits are significant, it involves minimizing the amount of textile waste and reducing dependence on virgin raw materials.
Recycled cotton, as its name suggests, is made using cotton fibers recovered from textile waste. The manufacturing of these new recycled cotton fibers involves the collection of used clothing, production waste or end-of-life textile products. With nearly 130 billion items of clothing consumed per year according to an Oxfam study (2020), there is plenty to do!
The collection of cotton textiles used in our clothing is carried out in Spain, by our partner EcoLife by Belda Llorens. Our partner collects the fabrics, sorts them according to their composition and color, cleans them to remove impurities, grinds them and mixes them with other fibers to create a new high quality film, thus maintaining the entire circularity process.
The manufacture of recycled cotton clothing is based on the reuse of fibers from already existing textiles, it is therefore no longer necessary to grow new cotton crops and this requires a reduced quantity of water and energy, avoiding then the phase of intensive growth of cotton crops.
The choice of recycled cotton in the manufacture of Lagoped clothing therefore meets several of our commitments. Firstly, reducing the environmental impact of the industry, which involves no longer extracting new natural raw materials to offer adventure clothing that does not touch Nature.
Photo credit: EcoLife by Belda Llorens
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