Organic and recycled cotton is slowly getting more popular. Sustainable clothing manufacturers replace conventionally grown cotton fabrics with organic or recycled materials. However, only one percent of all cotton grown is organic so there is still much to do. Cotton is the most used material in clothing manufacturing. So why is it so important to choose organic or recycled cotton?
Organic cotton growing has low impact on the environment
Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. These toxins can be deadly for the farmers, the factory workers, us as consumers and the wildlife ecosystems. For example, these pesticides have been known to affect important bee colonies in the farm fields. In addition to chemicals, conventionally grown cotton uses intensive irrigation which means it´s one of the largest water users among agricultural crops.
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. It doesn´t use GM seeds, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, use 71% less water and build biologically diverse agriculture. An organic farm produces 94% fewer carbon emissions than conventional.
Cottonseed oil is also used in food products such as cookies, chips, and vegetable oil and it is also fed to livestock. Using organic cotton seeds for products like these we can prevent getting toxic chemicals into our food system.
Cotton is most used but least recycled fabric, so choosing recycled cotton saves thousands of liters of water (one t-shirt saves 2700 liters) and reduces the harmful chemicals and energy used in production.