Global Gifts is proud to be carrying a selection of Maggie’s Organics cotton socks and wool socks that just arrived in our store! From farm to sewing table, Maggie’s commitment to transparency, quality, fair trade, and environmental stewardship shows in their products.
But how can socks save the world? Read on!
Maggie’s journey into the organic cotton business was inspired by alarming statistics about conventional cotton production:
- Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop - it uses 16% of the world’s insecticides yet only covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated lands (more than any other single major crop).
- Bringing a new pesticide to market takes a toll. It requires nine years of development and $180 million, plus the cost of manufacturing. The effectiveness of these agrochemicals is only temporary as pests develop immunities.
Insecticides are designed to effect biological systems that are similar in both animals and people making them the most hazardous pesticides to human health.
- It can take almost a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton in the US, and it takes just under one pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt. Conversely, Organic farming prohibits the use of synthetic chemicals to control pests, except in extreme cases. Instead, natural predators and intercropping are used.
Nitrogen synthetic fertilizers, used in cotton farming, are considered the most detrimental to the environment, causing leaching and runoff into freshwater, as well as contributing to increased N2O emissions (ominous news for global warming). On the other hand, organic farming methods use natural fertilizers, like compost and animal manure, that recycles the nitrogen already in the soil.
- The cottonseed hull, where many pesticide residues have been detected, is a secondary crop sold as a food commodity. It is estimated that as much as 65% of cotton production ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food oil or indirectly through the milk and meat of animals.
The developing world is home to 99% of all cotton farmers and produces 75% of the world’s cotton, so it bears the brunt of cotton’s environmental and health concerns. Organic farming poses no health threat from the use or production of agrochemicals and many farmers profit from organic premiums.
Maggie’s mission has been to raise awareness about the harmful impacts of conventionally-produced cotton, but more importantly to lead the way to more fair and sustainable industry practices... and at the same time, they make a darn good sock!
(So, yes. Socks CAN save the world.)