Everyone knows the health benefits of organic food and organic cleaning products but what about organic cotton? Often referred to as ‘the fabric of life’; cotton fulfills more than 50% fiber needs of the world. You come in contact with cotton made items every day, but have you ever thought, “How your cotton outfit has affected the environment?”
The way the cotton is grown has a huge impact on our environment. The conventional ways of cotton farming have an enormous appetite for insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers. These chemical-intensive methods pose a huge threat to the earth’s air, soil, water and the lives of people who work in the cotton industry.
A solution to this developing problem is organic cotton farming. What is organic cotton farming? In simple words, organic cotton farming is the growing of cotton crops without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Despite being cultivated on a mere 3% of the total cultivable area in the world, conventional cotton requires 30% of insecticides and more than 15% of the pesticides produced throughout the world. Thousands of farmers die each year from cancers originating from these chemicals. Furthermore, these chemicals seep into the grounds after heavy rainfall poisoning rivers, lakes and underground water channels. Organic cotton farms do not use these toxic chemicals, instead, they use natural techniques to protect the plants. The ecological processes of nature keep the microbes and insects in check while encouraging the species biodiversity.
Moreover, organic cotton farmers allow the soil to replenish its fertility by giving it a three year rest period. This results in less use of fertilizers and overall less expenditure.
Why choose organic cotton?
|Conventional Cotton||Organic Cotton|
|Seeds||Genetically modified seeds are processed in chemicals to make them pest resistant and enhance cotton production||Natural cotton seeds are used for cotton crops|
|Crop-rotation||Monocropping technique is used||Crop rotation is practiced practices regularly|
|Insecticides & Pesticides||Intense use of insecticides and pesticides||Bio-controlling and other natural techniques are used to control insects and pests|
|Weeds||Weedicides are used to remove weeds||Weeds are removed by hand or some other mechanical means|
|Biodiversity||Decrease in biodiversity sue to due to genetically modified seeds, chemicals, and monoculture||Increase in biodiversity due to natural farming techniques|
|Water||High water consumption
Increase in water pollution due to use of chemical methods
|Less water consumption
Owing to the increased water-holding capacity of organic soils
No water pollution
|Chemical retention||Chances of chemical retention
Maybe harmful for people with chemical allergies
|Zero chemical retention
Completely safe for people with chemical allergies
|Climate||High NO2 emissions due fertilizers and pesticides||Very low No2 Emissions|
|Resistance||Low weather resistance
Crops die in harsh weathers
|High weather resistance
Crops thrive even in severe weathers
Fashion brands and clothing manufacturers all over the world are slowly recognizing the need to protect our environment and human life. The only downside of organic cotton is that it is costlier but its benefits far outweigh that of the conventional cotton.