If you're looking for a quick guide to organic cotton including it's environmental impact and it's uses, look no further! Here is a quick look at some of the facts about organic cotton and what makes it a much better choice for both the environment and our own skin.
What is organic cotton?
One of the first things to understand about organic cotton is what it is, and what makes it different to conventional cotton. Organic cotton is grown using methods which are more environmentally friendly than those used to grow conventional cotton. The systems used to produce organic cotton both replenish and maintain the fertility of the soil used to grow it. It's growth encourages a biologically diverse agriculture, as well as using no toxic fertilisers which can then find their way into local water supplies as well as our clothing.
The environmental benefits of organic cotton are huge, and make it a much better choice when selecting your fabrics and clothing!
Conventional cotton is thought to be the crop which uses the most pesticides in the whole world, many of which are toxic to both us and the environment. The farmers who are in constant contact with these chemicals often suffer health problems as a result and sometimes death. In the past, conventional cotton had a much higher yield than cotton farmed through organic methods, making it easier to farm. However with new organic farming techniques, this is beginning to change! Meaning that farmers can benefit just as much from growing organic cotton, without suffering the health problems associated with cotton farming. The land that is used for growing organic cotton becomes detoxified, with weeds being manually or mechanically removed to reduce the need for toxic chemicals.
Conventional cotton is incredibly water reliant, needing 29000 litres to produce 1kg of cotton, whereas organic cotton requires only 7000 litres for the same amount.
Kinder to skin
Organic cotton is thought to be the most skin friendly, soft and harmless fibre, which means that it's ideal for dressing and cleaning our newborn babies! The fact that organic cotton requires no toxic fertilisers or pesticides to grow means that these chemicals are not transferred firstly to our clothing and then to our skin.
The only negative aspect of organic cotton is that is more expensive to purchase. It's production requires more manual labour, and the organic fertilisers used are expensive, but a higher demand will result in a lower price! Selecting organic clothing will help us get one step closer to more affordable eco-friendly options. With some high street retailers now stocking organic cotton products, the cost of the fabric is beginning to reduce and give us access to some beautiful clothes which don't empty our wallets.
Uses of organic cotton
Organic cotton is not just used for clothing, organic products include but are not limited to: fabrics, personal care items, furnishings and children's products – such as nappies and cotton pads.