What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming.
Source: Organic Trade Association
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ORGANIC COTTON:
Reduces environmental footprint
No toxic chemicals are used in the growing of organic cotton. It doesn’t damage the soil, has less impact on the air, and uses 71% less water and 62% less energy. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides.
Promotes safe work & better livelihoods
Growing organic cotton keeps farmers and their families safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply. It also means farmers grow more than one crop which supplements their food and income.
Model for the future
By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. But organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. The absence of chemicals also means that water is cleaner and safer. Cotton is often grown in water-scarce areas using irrigation and it takes 2,700 liters of water to make a conventional cotton t-shirt.
Fair price for sustainability
When you buy organic cotton you are investing in water conservation, cleaner air, better soil and farmer livelihoods. The price for organic cotton is therefore sometimes, but not always, higher. However, with demand on the rise, more choices will become available.
Impacts our food system
Organic cotton is grown from organic cotton seeds. Cotton seed oil is used in a variety of food products such as cookies, chips and vegetable oil, and is also fed to livestock. So while cotton fiber is not something we put in our body, the by-product can make its way into our diets.
You can make a difference
Caring for the world and the people we share it with is a life choice. Choosing organic cotton is part of this choice. In 2015, 26 million metric tonnes of cotton was produced globally, much of it for the apparel industry. Organic cotton makes up less than 1% of this. By choosing organic over conventional cotton you have the purchasing power to influence brands, manufacturers and even farmers. So let’s change this number