Halloween - time of ghouls and goblins and all things sinister. With that in mind we felt it only right to shed some light on the dark side (i.e. the vast land of non-organic and non-fairtrade) and share some truly scary stories that lurk behind the bedding you sleep in every night (unless you’re one of the enlightened!)
- ‘Conventional’, i.e. non-organic, bedding contains noxious chemicals such as formaldehyde – something we are more used to associating with a certain Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory!
- Such chemicals and heavy metal ions (used in dyes) are at best skin irritants and at worst are cancer causing – in fact, many known carcinogens are present in non-organic bedding.
- Given that we spend about 8 hours a night in bed, every night of our earthly lives – that’s more than enough time for these nasties to do their dastardly business!
- The pesticides used in growing non-organic cotton wreak havoc on the farmers’ and labourers’ health and also the natural environment. The water supply is often contaminated as local rivers and streams become polluted.
- Non-organic farming involves the farmers growing a single crop which is a high risk business. It also brings an extra financial strain as off-farm inputs (fertilizers and pesticides) need to be purchased from the big bio-tech companies. Organic farming does not need this and typically food crops are alternated with the cotton crop, thus minimising risks and providing food for the farmer and trade for the local community.
- Repeated use of pesticides and fertilizers lead to a porous soil that requires far more water as it can no longer retain moisture. Organic cotton farming uses an astonishing 91% less water than non-organic cotton farming! (source: Soil Association).
- The depleted porous soil in non-organic farming means increased water run-off leading to pollution of local rivers and a vastly increased risk of both flooding and drought.
- Worker exploitation and child labour are, tragically, not uncommon in many of the cotton growing countries. Buying organic-certified, and particularly Fairtrade-certified means the farmers are guaranteed a fair and sustainable price, and no child labour is involved in the farming or manufacture of the products. Always check for the organic (GOTS) and Fairtrade labels on your bedding.
So, this Halloween and indeed each and every night, to keep those ghastly nightmares away, always choose organic and fairtrade – sweet dreams.
Chris Murphy, PhD, co-founder Sleep Organic