The dark side of cotton pads

The dark side of cotton pads

With more and more sustainable options arriving, we’re finally moving in the right direction, when it comes to plastic. However, one material that is constantly overlooked, is cotton. Frequently used in our beauty regimes, cotton pads are causing more harm to Mother Earth, than you’d think. The strain cotton is putting on our planet is considerable. Yes, the blame mainly lies with the fast-fashion industry but us skincare addicts have to take responsibility too.

Why is cotton causing damage to our planet?

The farming of cotton makes a huge impact on the environment, especially when it’s not organically sourced. Chemicals can pollute rivers, damage local wildlife and severely impact our ecosystems. The other damage is the amount of water used to produce conventional cotton. About one kilogram, the size of a t-shirt, can take more than 20,000 litres of water to make. This water of course, has to come from somewhere and production can suck dry surrounding areas, which can cause a loss in natural habitats for plants, birds, animals and fish.

What can we do to help?

Sourcing 100% organic cotton is the first step. Making sure that your product is sustainably sourced and created. When organically certified, it means that the product will have to follow strict guidelines that consider the environment at every step.

Where can I find organic alternatives to my standard cotton pads?

Always look for the Soil Association logo, who supports all organic beauty brands. The Soil Association label signifies that 70% of its ingredients are organic, meaning they are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals and harmful pesticides. They also make sure that the product isn’t tested on animals and that the ingredients are not genetically modified.

You can try these regular organic cotton options below or invest in 100% organic and reusable cotton pads as they are even better for the environment and will get you a halo ring above your head. Look for products that have been certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

The GOTS is a worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, they require companies that use their logo to be environmentally and socially responsible in the manufacturing process of their textiles. A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must also contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres. The lesson here? Look at your labels.

Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Cosmetic Pads, £1.65, Evolution Organics

The Body Shop Organic Cotton Rounds, £2.50

Organic Cotton & Bamboo Make-Up Removal Rounds set of 5, £5, The Wise House

Reusable Organic Cleansing Pads, £6, Soap Nuts

ImseVimse Reusable Cotton Cleansing Pads pack of 10, £12.50, Ethical Superstore

Writer : Lydia House