Wondering what is good about organic cotton? So were we, which is why we have decided to write this article. And wow, were we impressed at the difference between organic cotton and conventional cotton.
Organic cotton is the sustainable upgrade to conventional cotton, yet less than 1% of our current cotton supply is made from this more environmentally friendly alternative. Needless to say, once you know the facts you may well be one of that 1% who are encouraging the growth of organic.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It is more sustainable because it encourages local wildlife and diversity, preserves soil quality and provides better wages to those who grow the crop.
We have divided the advantages of organic cotton into 4 groups, clearly listing what makes organic cotton so good. These are based around why organic cotton is sustainable compared to normal cotton, how it is more ethical, the reasons it is better for local economies, and importantly why it is also better for you to wear.
It’s important to know the facts about organic cotton. Once you do, we are confident you will wish you had made the switch sooner.
8 reasons why organic cotton is sustainable
- As organic cotton doesn’t use chemical pesticides or fertilizers, it protects local wildlife and encourages biodiversity
- Organic cotton promotes natural farming techniques such as crop rotations, which helps improve soil fertility
- A healthy nutrient dense soil reduces soil erosion
A healthy soil acts as a carbon sink and has the potential to store three times more carbon than the entire atmosphere
- By working with rather than against nature, organic farming helps grow more resilient crops that can naturally withstand pests or poor weather without the need for chemicals
Organic clothing creates 5 to 22 times less water pollution than conventional cotton
Organic cotton has been shown to require 62% less energy to produce vs. normal cotton
Today Genetically Modified cotton is the norm. 80% of global cotton is GM, this figure is as high as 95% in China, India and US. This can lead to numerous problems, including the creation of spray resistant ‘superweeds’, destruction of native wildlife, and reduced biodiversity.
9 reasons why organic cotton is more ethical
- Organic cotton pays farmers a fair wage and improves their living and working conditions
- More disposable income lifts farmers out of poverty. This means more can be spent on personal well-being, education and a better quality of life for the whole family
By avoiding chemical sprays, organic cotton helps save lives. 1000 people die everyday from pesticide poisoning, the consequence of chemicals running into local waterways and being unknowingly consumed
Some evidence shows that organic cotton promotes gender equality. It’s estimated that around 10% of organic farmers are women and have control of their own farms.
An increasing number of charities have been set up to help promote organic farming through cooperatives, encouraging local democracy and collaborative working
Organic cotton is a less thirsty crop than regular cotton, using up to 91% less water. 80% of organic cotton is rain fed, reducing water pressure on already threatened populations which grow cotton. The amount of water consumed to grow exported cotton in India would be enough to provide 85% of the country's population with 100 litres of water every day.
Sadly the links between slavery and cotton are not just a thing of the past. There are still reports today of forced labour in cotton cultivation
Almost half a million children are currently working in the cotton industry in India. By paying fair wages, organic cotton helps prevent this
- Conventional cotton can trap farmers in debt. Middle men and big companies can sell GMO seeds and chemical sprays at inflated prices
2 ways that organic cotton promotes local economies
Pesticides are designed to encourage more rapid growth, but they can also ruin local economies. A 2013 UNEP study found evidence that Mali’s annual agricultural GPD decreased by 50% per person due to pesticide use
- The Aral Sea is the best example of the devastation that pesticides can cause to a once thriving economy. What was the fourth largest inland body of water in the world that supported rich and diverse communities is now a toxic wasteland.
5 benefits of organic cotton for you
Organic cotton is not just better for the planet and people who grow it, it’s also better for you! Here are the reasons why organic cotton is good for your health:
Up to 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used to create the clothes we buy, many don’t wash out after we buy them. Organic cotton is grown without these chemicals, making the fabric safer and healthier to wear
- As organic cotton fabric contains no chemicals it is perfect for sensitive or allergy prone skin
One of the benefits of cotton is its strength. Organic cotton is better quality, stronger and as a result organic cotton clothes last longer. Longevity is the key to every sustainable wardrobe. Make your clothes last even longer with this easy guide.
- Organic cotton feels softer, more comfortable and more breathable to wear
- Organic cotton doesn’t have to be expensive. Just take a look at our affordable organic cotton range for men and women
Need to know more about eco friendly fabrics?