What is organic cotton, and why does it matter?

Did you know, that to produce a t-shirt using conventional cotton, a whopping 5000 litres of water is needed! That’s about 20 filled bathtubs of water! Considering that most cotton farming is carried out in very water sparse countries, this is definitely not a sustainable way forward.

So what is organic cotton, and why should you choose organic?

Organic fashion generally means that fibres have been farmed and/or produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or other artificial chemicals.

Conventional cotton production also accounts for 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use - needless to say it is not the best working environment for cotton farmers.

Organic cotton on the other hand, is free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals, and uses significantly less water than conventional cotton.

Organic cotton can be a more efficient user of water since farmers focus on building higher levels of organic matter in their soils. Research shows that soils with high organic content can hold up to 30% more water. Results of a recent Life Cycle Assessment of organic cotton reveal that water consumption of organic cotton is approximately 91% lower than that of conventional cotton. This is because organic cotton is mainly relying on natural rainfall, and this way does not need watering as conventional cotton does.

By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. But organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. The absence of chemicals also means that water is cleaner and safer.

There are plentiful of certifications to watch out for to ensure a product is organic, such as GOTS for organic cotton. You can read more HERE