Organic cotton is cotton grown without insecticides, pesticides and genetically modified seeds. It is also produced without toxic dyes or other processing chemicals. Cotton is the most used fiber in clothing production but currently only 1% of cotton produced worldwide is organic.
Importantly organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Instead, it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote a good quality of life for all involved. The switch to organic cotton is one that has a big positive impact on both planet and people, in particular those living in developing countries where cotton production makes up a big part of the labor-force and GDP.
5 reasons organic cotton is a sustainable choice:
1. Combats climate change
Organic farmers use natural methods to grow cotton, not fossil-fuel based fertilizers. By working with nature, farmers build healthy soils which store carbon and help to combat climate change. Organic cotton emits up to 46% less greenhouse gas than non-organic.
2. Saves precious water
Organic cotton is better for water than conventionally produced cotton. Organic farming creates healthy soils, which act like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer in times of drought. Hazardous synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are banned in organic farming, so rivers, lakes and drinking water are kept cleaner too.
3. Helps farmers feed their families
Organic farmers always grow other crops alongside their cotton. These crops can provide farming families and their communities with a more stable, accessible, abundant and diverse food supply and another source of income.
4. Gives control to farmers not GM companies
Genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned in organic farming, so farmers are not reliant on a handful of GM companies. Instead, they save their seeds year after year, and work with the environment in a long-term, sustainable way.
5. Eliminates hazardous synthetic pesticides
Organic farmers use natural methods like crop rotation to control pests and diseases, not chemical cocktails. Hazardous synthetic pesticides used in non-organic farming can damage ecosystems, poison waterways and endanger workers who can’t always afford safety equipment needed to protect them. Conventional cotton alone is responsible for 16% of all insecticides sold worldwide.