The United Nations estimates that 10 percent of total global emissions come from the textile industry. Polyester fabrics, when washed in domestic washing machines shed plastic microfibers which make their way into oceans. The materials used for wood based fabrics such as bamboo rayon and modal contribute to deforestation. Per the EPA, future concentrations of greenhouse gas could lead to respiratory health problems and certain diseases affected by temperature changes including tick borne diseases and food and water borne pathogens. Microplastics are toxic to wildlife and act like sponges soaking up other toxins in water that accumulate in our food chain. Wiping out forests high in biodiversity cause the rapid release of stored carbon and the spread of life threatening diseases such as malaria. The textile industry, like many other industries, definitely has its environmental challenges.
La Rhea Pepper, a fifth generation cotton farmer from Lubbock TX, notes that when she began farming, cotton was grown on less than 3% of the aggregate land . In addition to using growth regulators, defoliants and petroleum-based fertilizers, cotton was also accountable for using 25% of the pesticides she explains. In 2005 her husband, Terry who grew up on a chemically intensive farm, was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage IV, a tumor most common in men aged 40 to 60, with higher instances in people who work in the agriculture or chemical industries. Her passion for the environment and her personal experience seeing first hand the devastating side effects of intensive chemical usage, led her to helping found the Textile Exchange, a non-profit organization committed to the responsible expansion of textile sustainability across the global textile value chain and the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.
Like La Rhea, Thomaston Mills cares about the health of the planet and our friends and neighbors who live here. When we decided to reintroduce American Blossom, a quality made-to-last brand that Thomaston Mills manufactured back in the 1940’s, we made one important update. Today we are making bedding with 100% USA Organic Texas Cotton grown by the Texas Organic Cotton Cooperative family farmers, the Co-op that La Rhea helped create.
The mission statement of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Co-op says it all “Our goals are to be responsible stewards of the land in order to pass our farming heritage to our children and, at the same time, to provide you with a quality product produced in Texas through environmentally conscious methods.” TOCMC and its members are certified organic under the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA-NOP). Each bale of cotton marketed by TOCMC is tracked from the field to the customer.
Conventional cotton farming typically treats seeds with fungicide or insecticides, uses GMO seeds for the majority of their cotton, applies synthetic fertilizers, sprays herbicides to kill the weeds that do grow and relies heavily on irrigation. Organic cotton farming uses untreated and non-GMO seeds, s, does not use any inputs for weed control, preferring to use mechanical tillage and hand weeding, is not chemically defoliated,and the majority of organic cotton is rain fed. When you buy organic cotton you are investing in water conservation, cleaner air, better soil and farmer livelihoods.
We brought back American Blossom because people are looking for sustainable, socially responsible, traceable products, impeccably made in the USA. With a slow fashion mentality, our bedding is created to and last and never go out of style. As Le Rhea says “The land on which we exist is alive and full of life. It is something that can be damaged and require healing. It is something we need to care for because we have been given stewardship of it. We need to take our responsibilities seriously.”
PS – If you are going to invest in quality, luxe, soft Organic cotton bedding why buy imported bedding like Boll and Branch. Imported products take an over 8000 mile trip on cargo ships from India or China that use heavy fuel oil that is more carbon-intensive than other fuels and produces other greenhouse gases as well as air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. Buy American, help the environment and create jobs.
Shop American Blossom Linens today and don’t forget to use coupon code: BuyDirectUSA15 to receive 15% off you order!
Sources: https://www.intentjournal.com/features/larhea-pepper/  https://aboutorganiccotton.org/