Why is EcoGirl® Cotton special?

EcoGirl® Organic Cotton: Inspired by the places we have explored, traveled to and started roots in.

EcoGirl® is located in Santa Cruz, CA. We live, work and play in the beautiful landscapes of California from the beaches to the mountains. We are constantly inspired by the people, activities and varied communities throughout California which has motivated most of our EcoGirl® line.

Organic Cotton vs. Non-organic Cotton: Does it Really Matter?

You hear it everyday, when at all possible buy organic. From the fruit you purchase at the grocery store to the t-shirt you throw on in the morning buying organic has a greater impact than you may have realized.

Since the birth of EcoGirl® we have strived to develop a line of clothing that is functional, flattering and sustainable all at a reasonable price.

Here are some of the nitty gritty facts on why buying organic cotton clothing is worth seeking out.

  • Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 16-25% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop.
  • The Sustainable Cotton Project estimates that the average acre of California cotton grown in 1995 received some 300 pounds of synthetic fertilizers or 1/3 pound of fertilizer to raise every pound of cotton. Synthetic fertilizers have been found to contaminate drinking wells in farm communities and pose other long-term threats to farm land.
  • Growers spray 24 percent of the world’s insecticides on their cotton fields. Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer in humans.
  • When those crop dusters fly overhead, they spray everything, killing the good insects, spiders and birds that would normally gobble help keep those pesky cotton-nibblers at bay. You and your community are also exposed to all those nasty chemicals.
  • Because the natural predators are gone, opportunistic species flourish, further threatening the crop. Farmers apply even more pesticides to kill the new bugs, and the “pesticide treadmill” goes round and round, requiring ever harsher chemicals as the “bad bugs” develop stronger and stronger resistance.

Five important things you do when you buy organic cotton

1. Protect fisheries
Runoff containing pesticides from cotton fields killed 240,000 fish in Alabama in 1995.

2. Prevent chronic health problems in Egyptian cotton workers
In the 1990s, 50% of Egyptian cotton workers suffered from chronic pesticide poisoning, including neurological and vision disorders.

3. Prevent health disorders to workers around the world
91% of Indian men working eight plus hours/day will suffer an illness related to chromosomal aberrations and cell death while producing cotton t-shirts in Bangladesh.

4. Save American lives
Each year, more than 10,000 Americans die from cancer associated with pesticides.

5. The life you save may be your own
A third of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides are used in the growth and production of every cotton t-shirt.

If you have ever stopped by our store location in Santa Cruz, you would notice that we not only stock the store with our EcoGirl, hat.a.girl and Jedzebel line but that we also have jewelry. Well after much encouragement from customers we are now offering our jewelry online. The designs are unique and the stones gorgeous.

Organic Cotton Traditional Cotton
Cultivation Organic matter fertilizes soil and renews soil productivity and requires less water. Five of the top nine pesticides are used in the cultization of Cotton in the US (Cyanide, Dicofol, Naled, Propargite and Trifluralin) and are known cancer causing chemicals.
Harvesting Hand-picked (no machinery, or additional chemical used). Herbicides are used to defoliate and make picking easier. These chemicals pollute the land and rivers and the harvesting machinery reduces soil productivity.Health Consequences: Traces of chemicals remain and are potentially carcinogenic.
Washing/Bleaching Natural spinning oils which biodegrade easily and no chlorine used. Chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, APEO (alkylphenoloxylate, a hormone disrupter), EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetate; binds with heavy metals in rivers and streams and activates them), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that react with sunlight to form ground-level ozone.Synthetic disinfectants are slow to biodegrade and chlorine emissions will pollute the atmosphere.Health Consequences: Traces of chemicals are carcinogenic and can affect the nervous system.
Yarn Dyeing Natural vegetable dyes or low-impact synthetic dyes. Compounds of iron, tin, potassium, and VOCs are found in the dyeing process. Large quantities of water are used for washing out dyes.Health Consequences: Water polluted by heavy metals.
Printing Natural vegetable and mineral inks are used. Solvent-based inks containing heavy metals, benzene, and organochlorides are used in the printing process.Waste water is polluted with heavy metals and the emissions are released into the ozone.Health Consequences: Toxic residues cause problems of the central nervous system, respiratory system, and skin, as well as head-aches, dizziness, and eye irritations.
Finishing (easycare, stain resistance, fireproofing, mothproofing, softening, deodorizing, anti-static, and mercerizing treatments) No enhancement finishes used. Formaldehyde, caustic soda, sulfuric acid, bromines, urea resins, sulfonamides, halogens, and bromines are used in the finishing process.Waste water has a high acid content and released into the atmosphere.Health Consequences: Chemical traces on the fabric can cause burning eyes, nose, and throat, as well as difficulties with sleep, concentration, and memory. Can increase susceptibility to cancer;
Transportation Void of chemicals so the greater impact in transportation is eliminated. There are environmental consequences of transporting huge quantities of chemicals from the manufacturing plant to the place of cultivation, as well as the additional journeys involved for all stages of cotton production, from the raw material to place of manufacture, finishing, and then to distributor and user.