Updated: Sep 10, 2019
In this day and age when the word “organic” is so overused it’s difficult to differentiate between the truly organic and the gimmicky organic. So, what is organic cotton and why is it better?
First lets share a little etymology lesson together: the word “organic” comes from the Greek root organikos meaning “relating to an organ or instrument” with the modern adjective meaning “relating to or derived from living matter”. In the world of agriculture, the majority of farming methods are faster than organic farming methods, but these faster methods contribute to 16% of the world’s pesticide use and consume an approximate 2,700 liters of water to make just one inorganic cotton t-shirt. These methods also include the use of pesticides to kill the weeds that grow around cotton crops, toxic chemicals for the processing of cotton, and the use of GMO cotton seeds (genetically modified organisms) instead of natural grown seeds.
Using these easier methods negatively effects the health of the soil cotton crops on grown in as well as negatively effects the ecosystems of both flora and fauna living with the cotton crops.
Instead of using pesticides to kill weeds in cotton crops, organic cotton farming uses a method called intercropping to prevent weed growth or weeds are hand removed by farmers. Avoiding the use of pesticides preserves important insect and bird life that can be otherwise destroyed by contact or ingestion of pesticides. Farming cotton without the use of pesticides reduces the amount of exposure to harsh chemicals for farmers and their families.
Other important methods used in organic cotton farming include composting, crop rotation, using beneficial insects to manage pest insects, and water conservation by use of rainwater.
These “organic” methods maintain the demand for real farmers and their families to raise, manage, and harvest organic crops used for organic clothing instead of machines that replace them. This creates job security for farmers and their families which creates stronger farming communities.
Though the price of organic cotton is higher, the additional cost is an investment in water conservation, clean soil, a reduced environmental footprint, and an investment in the livelihood of farmers around the world.
Hopefully this brief explanation will help each of you make more conscience decisions when you shop for clothing and other products.
At Poppy Hayoun Designs we are proud to print our designs on only organic (certified by either GOTS OR OCS) or recycled materials. You can read more about our environmental policy in our policies page.
Thank you for reading.
Information sourced from http://aboutorganiccotton.org/. Their site has a wealth of information about organic cotton and organic farming methods.