The cotton industry – one of the world’s dirtiest industries. With the emergence of fast fashion that produces new collections faster and cheaper than ever, it is the most marginalized people and the planet that have to pay the real costs. Seas have turned into deserts, rivers have dried up, and chemicals are poisoning streams and crops. Below we describe the benefits of organically grown cotton, hope you want to spend a minute reading.
Conventionally grown cotton (non-organic farms) uses large amounts of synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. The herbicide is used to keep the worms away from the cotton capsules and can in the worst case cause death in direct contact with the skin. These chemicals are associated with allergies, respiratory problems, skin rashes, cancer, birth defects, hormonal and reproductive effects. But it does not stop here. The dangerous pesticide poisons important watercourses, which affect drinking water and crops.
So how does organic cotton make a difference?
1. No pesticides – When growing organic cotton, a prosperous ecosystem is maintained by relying on traditional farming techniques and natural processes. No chemical pesticides, artificial fertilizers or genetically modified crops (GMOs) are used here. This contrasts with conventionally grown cotton which accounts for 25% of global pesticides. As many as 77 million farmers – who do not grow organic cotton – are poisoned annually by pesticides.
2. Reduced water use – As much as 70-80% of all organically grown cotton use rainwater instead of irrigation in cotton production. Irrigation has several negative effects; it contributes to a shortage of groundwater and surface water as well as animals, plants and humans are affected when their watercourses decrease or disappear completely. Our producer Chetna Organic relies only on rainwater to irrigate its cotton crops.
3. Better living conditions – Organic farms protect farmers’ lives and well-being. Farmers who use genetically modified crops (GM crops) are promised higher yields and lower costs. However, the use of pesticides is increasing, and weeds have begun to develop resistance to GMO companies’ pesticides. Through patents and rights, companies can charge farmers extra. Sky-high debts are believed to be behind many of the 270,000 suicides committed by Indian farmers over the past 15 years. On organic farms, workers can grow other crops along with cotton for food security and extra income. Furthermore, there are strict criteria for the manufacturing process in organic farming – no child labor or forced labor may occur.
4. Good for the skin – The skin is our largest organ and we spend a third of our lives in bed. Just as you choose to buy organic food or clothing, it is just as important that the bed linen does not carry dangerous toxins and pesticides. Organic cotton is softer, lasts longer, is better for your skin and more importantly, our planet.
Organic cotton makes all the difference in the world – for you, the farmer and the environment. All our producers are GOTS-certified, which is the gold standard for organically grown cotton. A holistic perspective has been taken regarding both environmental and social responsibility throughout the chain.