Organic Cotton - The Sustainable Choice
The benefits of organic cotton
Organically farmed and produced textiles have many benefits socially and environmentally, which contribute to the progression towards fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and helps to significantly minimise the short and long-term environmental impacts of the textiles and fashion industry. They are more environmentally sustainable by using less water and fewer toxic chemicals, improving working conditions in factories and on farms, and by offering a viable, long-term alternative to GM cotton that provides food security to farmers.
5 reasons to source organic cotton
Combat climate change
Organic farmers are doing their bit to combat climate change. By relying on natural methods rather than using manufactured nitrogen fertilisers, organic cotton results in a 94% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. By maintaining their health, organic practices turn soils into a carbon 'sink', removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
By eliminating the use of hazardous synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilisers, organic cotton keeps waterways and drinking water safe and clean. Organic uses 91% less water than non-organic production. Organic farming promotes naturally healthy soils which are more resilient in drought conditions.
Reduce toxic chemicals
Toxic pesticides – many of which are classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation – are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing an estimated 16,000 people each year. Organic cotton is produced without hazardous toxic pesticides. Under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) any chemicals used in factories must meet strict requirements on toxicity and biodegradability.
Transform workers’ lives
Many workers in the garments industry suffer terrible conditions. If you buy GOTS-certified organic clothes, you can be sure workers will be protected from inhumane treatment and child labour, and will enjoy decent minimum wages and regulated working hours.
Cutting out toxic pesticides means workers will stop suffering health problems and facing early death. Avoiding pesticides also reduces production costs for farmers. The burden of pesticide debt has resulted in thousands of suicides in India, the world’s largest cotton producer.
Organic fibre production never uses GM seed. The small-scale farmers who produce the majority of our fibres need reliability, not high risks. Using locally available inputs such as seeds and manure, organic farming allows farmers to work with the environment, in a sustainable way with a long term future. Organic puts choices in the farmers’ hands.
Organic Textiles Research & Reports
We are the leading voice for organic textiles in the UK and has have published a number of in depth reports on the benefits of organic cotton.