Green Means GO!

Going green is transcending the trend line and becoming a standard. Eco products were always standing on the sidelines of the healthcare field, but now they are center stage and everyone is looking to get a little more green on their team. To understand the environmental movement, you need to know the how’s and why’s so that then you can make the best decisions.

No surprise that the healthcare industry is a leading consumer of cotton products and that 99% of the cotton is conventionally grown. Unfortunately, this means it is laden with toxic chemicals: insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, fertilizers. In order to maximize yields on nutrient depleted land, conventional cotton farms rely on intensive and exponential inputs: more chemicals, more water, more fertilizers to make the same amount of cotton, every year. Currently is uses about 2 lbs. of chemicals to produce 1 lbs. of cotton. All signs point to a healthcare industry that is poised for an organic cotton takeover and it’s about time!

Organic Cotton uses natural fertilizers only, crop rotation, green manure crops and compost, to increase crop yields year after year. This chemical free organic cotton is better for you and your family, but equally important to remember: when you support organic products, you are also supporting the regions where growers and their communities are free from exposure to cancer causing chemicals and many random toxins that long term effects remain unknown.

Another big buzz acronym: GMOs. Genetically modified seeds are used extensively in conventional cotton production. Again, GMOs long term effects remain unknown and these chemicals turn up everywhere cottonseed oil is found- so everywhere! 40% of the cotton boll is fiber, the remaining 60% is made into cottonseed oil, an ingredient in many foods like cookies, chips, popcorn, salad dressing and…livestock feed. Cottonseed oil derived from conventional cotton contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals that enter the food chain. Organic Cotton, on the other hand, increases food and water security and safety. Farms switching to organic cotton production (a field has to be chemical free for 3 years to be considered organic) encourage healthy ecosystems and biodiversity.

Finally the fascinating, cyclical story of organic cotton is eclipsing the unsustainable practices associated with conventional cotton, as many poor conventional cotton farmers will tell you.

Most healthcare companies have added some sustainable products to their line-ups. This is great news for you, the consumer, just remember to stay savvy. A small amount of bamboo fiber mixed with a large amount of cheap polyester, dyed and sprayed and starched, then dunked in formaldehyde and shipped across the world, is just a trend chasing, novelty that you are being up charged $10 for. Buying more more more shoddy scrubs that don’t last is the ultimate environmental (and cash flow) blunder. Investing in good quality, certified organic products to help you stay healthy and modern is the way to go!

About The Author
Cassie Dee is a fashion designer who works out of her studio in Vancouver BC. She designs eco-friendly work wear apparel using premium organic and sustainable fabrics. More information can be found at

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