Cotton vs Organic Cotton
Sustainable fashion is confusing to navigate as a customer. There are endless terms and it’s difficult to know what makes a difference. That’s why we’re bringing you eco-fashion 101.
We’re starting with cotton because it’s still the most widely used fiber–present in about 60% of women’s apparel, from t-shirts to denim. While organic foods have become ubiquitous, organic fibers are just now starting to take hold.
The cotton industry’s history is wrought with human rights violations from the use of slavery to modern day lack of worker protections, making this issue as much an humanitarian choice as an enivronmental one.
Standard cotton production uses around 20 different pesticides, several of which are categorized as extremely hazardous, causing harm to the workers, soil and the surrounding water supply. In contrast, organic cotton must be grown without the use of toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and GMO seeds.
Organic farmers also use crop rotation to create biodiversity in the soil, removing the need for farmlands to remain fallow for years while regenerating nutrients. While organic cotton initially requires more water than non-organic methods, it uses less water in the long run by creating healthy soil that is better able to absorb water from natural sources such as rainfall.
The non-organic cotton industry is putting profits before human and environmental health.
Moving towards organic farming practices is an integral part of making the fashion industry environmentally responsible and ethical for cotton workers. When possible we always choose organic cotton.