Organic Cotton: Good for Your Dog, Good for the Environment

    • 4 min read

    Whether you’re at the grocery store or shopping online, the word “organic” often gets a bad rap for its cost. But the price of conventional crops on our health and environment far exceeds one shopping spree. Here’s what you need to know about organic cotton and why it’s better for your dog.

    The History of Cotton

    Cotton has been around for many centuries, with signs of the plant in cloth form dating back to 3,000 B.C. Today, cotton makes up approximately 25 percentof textile fibers worldwide. Though many crops have proven profitable over time, cotton continues to stay at the forefront of many industries, including fashion, auto, fishing, furniture, and more. 

    In the U.S. alone, the Economic Research Service (ERS) states that the cotton industry generates over $21 billion in profits annually and over 125,000 jobs. It’s safe to say cotton isn’t going anywhere. But for the sake of the environment, this leader of the textile world may need to get with the times.

    Dangers of Conventional Cotton

    Cotton is called “Tella Bangarum” or “white gold” in India due to the crop’s value within multiple industries, but it’s also referred to as the “dirtiest” crop on the planet. Conventional cotton uses all kinds of pesticides and unsustainably-managed practices to churn out that white gold. 

    Here are just a few ways that conventional cotton harms the planet:

    • While cotton accounts for just 2.5 percentof cultivated land, the crop accounts for 16%of pesticides in the world.
    • Conventional cotton farming uses around $2 billionof chemical pesticides yearly.
    • Some synthetic pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides used on cotton are potential carcinogens.
    • Many synthetic chemicals persist in the environment for decades or even centuries before decomposing.
    • Poisons wash away during rainfall and enter waterways, harming wildlife.
    • Cotton farmers can experience pesticide poisoning from handling the ingredients.
    • Children in Africa, Asia, and in between are exploited by the cotton industry.
    • 65 percentof conventional cotton byproducts enter our foods either directly in cottonseed oils and other products or indirectly through the animals consuming cotton products.

    Organic Cotton

    What Is Organic Cotton?

    Organic cotton is vastly better for the environment, as it contains no synthetic pesticides or genetically-modified cotton seeds. To qualify as organic, farms must adhere to strict regulations, including following sustainable management that helps maintain soil quality, conserve water, and protect biodiversity. 

    Organic cotton production increased by 31 percentin 2018—2019, according to Textile Exchange’s 2020 organic cotton market report, but in the 2019—2018 harvest season, only 0.95 percentof that cotton was organic. By doing our part, we can help increase the demand for organic cotton and be the change we need for future generations.

    Benefits of Organic Cotton

    Organic cotton comes with many benefits that make it a much-needed switch from conventional cotton. These include:

    • Safer chemicals.Almost all crops use chemicals of some sort—even organic ones. The pesticides and fertilizers used in organic farming are naturally-derived and generally pose a significantly lower impact on the environment if any at all.
    • Better soil quality. It is not uncommon for organic farms to use compost to bolster the soil. Soil quality is also better because synthetic chemicals aren’t seeping into the soil, killing nutrient-building microbes.
    • Produces less CO2. Less machinery for spraying crops with pesticides means less carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the air to power those machines.
    • Protects native plant species. Genetically-modified seeds can spread beyond the crops into surrounding areas. This can create genetically-modified, pest-resistant wild plants or competition for native plants.
    • Safer for people and animals. Dogs and people alike can benefit from organic cotton, which doesn’t contain all the harsh, synthetic chemicals found in conventional cotton.
    • Fairer and better wages. Organic products often mean fair trade, (though you’ll need to check with the company to be sure).
    • Fewer additives. Organic cotton fabric is free from synthetic dyes, heavy metals, chlorine, and other practices that can lead to skin issues like irritation, eczema, and allergies. 

    Happy Dog on Organic Cotton Field

    Why Choose Organic Cotton Toys

    When it comes to cotton dog toys, “farm to toy” products can be a concern if they’re made with pesticides, synthetic dyes, and excessive pesticides. Dogs, whose mouths regularly chew and play with cotton products, are susceptible to the harmful practices of conventional cotton. 

    Conventional cotton textiles can contain toxins transferred from crops into the fabrics themselves, and chewing on the products increases your dog’s chance of consuming those particles. Also, dogs are more sensitive to smells than we are and can become irritable if exposed to synthetic scents or treatments added to conventional toys and clothes. 

    Best Organic Cotton Dog Toys

    The next time you’re looking for a new toy for your dog, consider a few of our best-selling organic cotton toys for dogs:

    Organic Cotton Bear

    Organic Cotton Bear by SpunkyPup With Coconut Fiber

    Give your cuddly dog something sweet and eco-friendly to play with by choosing the ever-popular organic bear. Great for playtime and naptime alike, your pup will love the added squeaker on this organic dog toy. 

    The organic cotton bear comes in two sizes for all dogs to enjoy the benefits of playing with an organic, sustainably-made dog toy, and it’s machine-washable and dryer-friendly, making it easy to clean your dog’s toy.

    Organic Cotton Bunny

    Organic Cotton Bear by SpunkyPup With Coconut Fiber

    Hop into spring with one of Spunky Pup’s high-quality organic cotton bunnies. This toy comes in two sizes and two colors—brown and cream. It’s perfect for dogs with a snuggly play style or as a cute Easter prop. The best part is that this bunny is a safe alternative to other stuffed animals that use conventional cotton and synthetic dyes. 

    The cotton bunny is organic, dyed using natural vegetable dyes, and ideal for gentle play (it comes with two—yes, two—squeakers)! Even the insides are organic; the bunny is stuffed with organic coconut husk fiber. Though you should still keep an eye on the toy for wear and tear, you can rest easier knowing that your dog’s toy is made with your dog’s safety in mind. 


    Until next time--

    Chopper & Otis See you Next Time