When talking about sustainable fashion we always say that our clothing is made from "100% organic cotton". Ok cool, but why is that important?
As well cotton clothing being plant-based and biodegradable, why is the organic part relevant? What's wrong with conventional cotton? Surely it's still plant-based and biodegradable? Yes. Conventional cotton isn't 'wrong' as such, and arguably a whole lot better than plastic-based textiles such as polyester, but the methods and practices for its cultivation and farming just aren't as environmentally friendly or good for global warming as organic cotton.
Here's some things that define the difference between organic and conventional cotton...
No Chemical Fertilisers Or Pesticides
Organic cotton favours natural fertilisers. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are used to grow the conventional cotton widely used by the corner-cutters in the fast fashion industry, and needless to say these can have disastrous effects on the environment and the health of surrounding life when absorbed into the earth.
Lower CO2 Emissions
Organic cotton growth emits 46% less greenhouse gas than conventional cotton, and organic farming methods help lock CO2 into the soil.
It's Better For Water
Organic farming creates healthy soils, which soak up water like a sponge during floods and holding it for longer in times of drought.
Not to mention how the runoff from toxic fertilisers and pesticides in conventional cotton farming can pollute local waterways.
It's Better For People
With certification to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the use of hazardous chemicals is prohibited. All waste water is treated, protecting workers and their water supplies.
Certification also means no forced labour or child labour.