Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs. Importantly organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Instead, it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote a good quality of life for all involved.
The impact of growing cotton is significant for the environment and the ecosystem. Current cotton production methods are environmentally unsustainable. Most prominent environmental impacts result from the use of agrochemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides, and the consumption of water. Organic cotton is much more environmentally friendly.
Impacts on soil, air and water: Growing organic cotton does not damage the soil and it has less impact on the air. Water consumption is even 91% lower than conventional cotton. No harmful chemicals are ending up to the water. Also, energy consumption is 62% lower.
Organic: The use of Genetically modified organisms (GMO) is strictly forbidden
No pesticides and other toxic chemicals: Natural insect repellents extracted from plants are used to get rid of pests.
Safe work: Growing organic cotton keeps farmers and their families safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply. It also means farmers grow more than one crop which supplements their food and income.
Growing organic cotton has over 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions than growing conventional cotton.
Fairtrade Foundation has created own label for Fairtrade Cotton. Fairtrade encourages sustainable cotton production and is the only standard to provide economic benefits, through a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price and additional Fairtrade Premium for seed cotton farmers.