Cotton is one of the most important non-food crops that humans utilize. Just about everyone uses various cotton products on a daily basis. The USDA estimated there were almost 14 million acres of US land dedicated to conventional cotton production in 2011(1). An immense amount of fertilizer, pesticide and insecticide are used on these lands to help ensure crops are not lost to pests, invasive species of plants, etc. (2).
In contrast, there were about 16,000 acres of land dedicated to organic cotton growth in the US last year (3). The Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Co-op, which is composed of about 30 farmers were responsible for approximately 10,000 of the 16,000 acres (4). We’re proud to use TOCMC organic cotton batting in our handcrafted mattresses. Our organic cotton farmers produce the highest quality cotton batting, free of harmful chemicals. This means they really know what they’re doing, utilizing crop rotation, compost and cover crops to keep soil rich. Keeping weeds and pests at bay is a challenge and is done by manual removal, complementary crops and the use of beneficial insects and predators.
Organic cotton is of a much higher quality. It’s softer, less dense and doesn't compress as quickly as its conventional cousin. We also like working with materials we know are free of pesticides. Our wool supplier, who connected us with the co-op, actually goes to the farm in Texas and sees the crop we will get. I’ve been sleeping on an Organic Cotton and Wool Shikibuton with a Latex Shikibuton beneath for about four years. It has traveled with me and is still in amazing shape with minimal compression. (I’m also good about flipping my shiki and washing my mattress pad.) Thanks for reading and sleep well!