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SUSTAINABILITY

Organic Cotton

5 reasons to choose organic cotton – the sustainable choice

Green Collective works to promote sustainable choices. Flourishing ecosystems are important to us, and therefore we want to support what is best for the environment. Because of this, all of our home textile products such as towels, bed sheets, or kitchen towels are made from GOTS-labeled organic cotton.

Although we love organic cotton, it only accounts for less than 1% of all cotton produced

According to Textile Exchange, organic cotton equaled a market share of 0.95 percent of all cotton produced in 2019/20. This makes approx. 0.25 million tonnes of organic cotton fiber, compared to a total of 26.2 million tonnes produced in 2020.¹ 

Organically produced cotton has, compared to conventional cotton, a more positive impact on people and our planet. It is grown from seeds that are not genetically modified, and without using synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides.

This brings five major benefits

  1. Enhanced biodiversity.
  2. Improved soil health and a stable water quality.
  3. Less resource depletion.
  4. Improved health outcomes.
  5. Better economic returns for farmers. 

1. Organic cotton enhances biodiversity

By fostering regenerative farming, instead of monoculture, organic cotton enhances biodiversity.  

To achieve a better ecological balance, it is important to have farming systems that maintain genetic and agricultural diversity. Organic farming supports a variety of crops. According to Textile Exchange, farmers grow organic cotton as part of a rotation system with an average of nine other crops. What may be an organic cotton field this year will be an organic corn field the year after. This is an important difference, since conventional cotton is grown from the same GMO crop on the same soil over and over again. 

Regenerative practices do not only bring cotton fields to bloom but maintain communities of pollinators, such as bees, that support healthy ecosystems. A recent study shows that farmers report an increase in beneficial organisms on their farms after adopting organic practices.

2. Organic cotton improves soil health and water quality

By using no synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides, organic cotton improves soil health and water quality. 

When growing organic cotton only natural fertilizerssuch as compost, animal manure or green manure are allowed. This helps to enhance soil structure and water infiltration. It also prevents the risk of contamination of local water systems, which otherwise can poison and disrupt the food chain and reverberate through ecosystems.

Pollution of groundwater and soil erosion are major problems in conventional cotton farming, as this practice uses high amounts of synthetic chemicals. 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides are used specifically for conventional cotton farming.(3) Additionally, if the soil is healthy, it can capture more carbon from the atmosphere and help mitigate climate change.(4)

3. Organic cotton depletes less resources

By relying on natural and regenerative practices, organic cotton helps to safe resources. 

Regenerative practices can naturally reduce the need for external inputs over time and increase production. Using no synthetic chemicals not only keeps the soil healthy, it also saves resources as it reduces use of energy and water. This leads to the organic choice having a lower environmental impact than conventional cotton.

4. Organic cotton is a safe health choice 

By using no toxins, organic cotton improves health outcomes. 

Organic cotton is the better choice for your skin, as it uses no chemicals in production nor farming. Those chemicals would otherwise stay in the textile fabric such as your towel and could irritate sensitive skin. Due to the direct exposure to toxins on the field, farmers are additionally put at risk of illness. Conventional cotton farming thereby does not only negatively impact the environment but also yours and the farmers health.  

5. Organic cotton protects farmers

By using no GMOs and being paid a premium, organic cotton improves economic returns for farmers.  

Organic cotton gives farmers control over their seeds. They can use diverse crops and can expect better economic returns, as there is a price premium for organically produced cotton on the market.

When growing conventional cotton, they are dependent on monopolized GMO seeds. As companies hold ownership of the cotton seeds, farmers repeatably need to buy them for high prices, that can cause extraordinary financial stress.  

By Jeff Hutcheson

If it comes with all of these benefits, why do more farmers not choose to grow organic cotton?

Converting a field from conventional to organic takes up to three years, as the land needs to recover from artificial toxins. It is, therefore, difficult for small-scale farmers to invest in organic methods time while the request for conventional cotton is still high.

Luckily there are projects that support farmers in converting farmland so that we can expect a green future full of organic cotton! You as a consumer can make a difference by looking for a GOTS certificate when shopping your home textile towels, kitchen towels, bed sheets etc.  

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) can help you as a customer to make a sustainable choice when buying home textile made from cotton today. With its focus on organic cotton, it addresses both the social and environmental aspects of cotton processing and manufacturing.

GOTS works with certified organic cotton and ensures the traceability of the supply chain. The standards help to make sure that all stages of production – washing, spinning, dyeing, and garment construction of the home textile – are done accordingly to strict environmental standards and that the working conditions are in line with the International Labour Organization (ILO) principles. 

WAYCph is a great example of a brand who has built sustainability into the very core of their business and values.

WAYCph has done a stellar job in finding highest quality of organic cotton produced in Kenya in close collaboration with their supplier.

The supplier is a family-owned business located on Portugal, they only work with the finest designers across the globe such as Missoni and Chanel. Thus, they have access to some of the finest home textiles on the market today.

The specific quality of the GOTS certified organic cotton WAYCph uses is 80% rain-fed, and uses 71% less water and 62% less energy compared to conventional cotton. 

In order to take sustainability to the next level and reduce the input of virgin resources even more, the WAY beach towels are even made from a thoughtful combination of organic and recycled cotton – a topic we will tell you more about soon… 

References
(1) Textile Exchange (2021) Organic Cotton Market Report
(2) Delate, Heller, & Shade (2021) Organic cotton production may alleviate the environmental impacts of intensive conventional cotton production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.
(3) Fashion Revolution (2019) How to be a Fashion Revolutionary
(4) Delate, Heller, & Shade (2021) Organic cotton production may alleviate the environmental impacts of intensive conventional cotton production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

organic cotton

By Mateusz Wacławek

Shop Designer
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
The luxurios beach towel is perfect for sunbathing or winter bathing and air dries
DKK900
Organic & Recycled Cotton
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