But the most important benefit is protecting the ecosystem, reducing wastage of water, and ensuring a safer working environment for the farmers and manufacturers. I've found, though, that a lot of companies either use softer cotton or brush it when it's organic. Organic cotton textiles, or fabric, are used in almost every product we sell at The Natural Sleep Store. In one year (2014-2015), organic cotton crops saved 288.7 million kilowatts of energy (the equivalent of a 60w bulb glowing for 549,314 years) compared to conventional cotton crops. Organic cotton is better for the environment, the workers and the community. The picking and manufacturing method gives us an indication of how durable the cotton will be. That’s because cotton–organic or conventional–doesn’t dry quickly when it gets wet, especially if it’s cold outside. Like conventional cotton, organic cotton is water-intensive to grow—although whether organic cotton uses more or less water than conventional cotton is a matter of some debate. Sources: https://textileexchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Textile-Exchange_Quick-Guide-To-Organic-Cotton_2017.pdf, https://www.soilassociation.org/media/11662/coolcotton.pdf. According to the, Conventionally grown cotton requires an immense amount of water. This makes organic cotton softer than conventional cotton because its fibers remain longer. Quality doesn’t come cheap! GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certificate means that the products have been tested and scrutinized for the presence of toxic chemicals throughout the manufacturing process: from the field to the finished products. If you’re trying to live a more eco-friendly life, switching … Eco clothing is a challenging topic because we must weigh the pros and cons of each option, such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, silk, and others. Worst of all, if it also happens to be cold, your chances of suffering from hypothermia increase exponentially if your clothes or outerwear get wet. But since conventional cotton still contains harmful chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers from its days as a plant (before it was a sundress), those chemicals will leech back into the soil and waterways as it breaks down. On top of that, as organic cotton is softer than conventional cotton, it’s much more delicate on your skin, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin, children and babies. Crop rotation, which keeps the soil fertile and reduces its water demand 3. If you’re looking for organic cotton products, make sure they’ve got the GOTS certificate logo on the label. A textile is a woven or knit material made of natural or artificial fibers (yarns). This is largely because research indicates that growers of organic cotton typically rely more on rainwater than … The reason cotton is grown with so many fertilisers and pesticides is because it’s such a sensitive plant. Organic cotton is softer, hypoallergenic, and last for a long time. Cotton is often grown in water-scarce areas using irrigation and it takes 2,700 liters of water to make a conventional cotton t-shirt. This is the first factor that reduces the quality of the finished product. One key difference is that organic cotton products are made without toxic chemicals. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. No GMO seeds 4. Evidently, this wastes a lot of energy and produces a large amount of greenhouse gases. But organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. Cotton in general, is a natural fiber that has many uses. -  Designed by Thrive more information Accept. There’s no doubt that organic cotton is more environmentally friendly than conventional cotton; the numbers speak for themselves. Compared to conventional, organic cotton crops saved 92.5kg of C02 (the equivalent of driving a car around the world 13,572 times). For outdoor pursuits, that means a higher chance you’ll get blisters if your socks are cotton, chafing and sagging if you’re wearing cotton shorts or shirts, and really heavy clothing and gear if any of it gets wet. It should naturally become part of the ecosystem – not disturb it. There’s a lot of talk recently about water usage in the manufacturing process of the material. Organic cotton vs. Cotton: Feel . Yeah, it tends to be more expensive, but we could all buy a little less, anyway. It can sometimes feel overwhelming when trying to figure out which products are the best from an environmental standpoint. Organic farmers use beneficial insects over insecticide and utilize methods like crop rotation and composting for healthy soil instead of relying on synthetic fertilizers. So gear up and wander on! Greensnooze.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Themes When it comes to organic cotton vs. conventional cotton, the latter is dyed using a process that requires a high temperature. If you’re interested in switching over to organic cotton products, take a look at our review of the best organic bedding brands for you and your little ones. Certified organic cotton is cotton that is expected to have been grown without fertilizers and pesticides, with practices that promote biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil health. Conventional cotton isn’t sustainable. Yes, because the natural fibers are longer, they allow for breathability while still maintaining the strength of the material. Both organic and conventional production systems offer the benefit of providing us with a natural fiber and their growing practices are similar. Many organic farmers are proving that there’s no need for harmful chemicals. Is Microfiber or Cotton More Eco-Friendly? Organic cotton produces around 46% less CO2e compared to conventional cotton. Conventional cotton is made soft by the chemicals, oils, and waxes added in manufacturing. The Environmental Justice Foundation and Pesticide Action Network reported that conventional cotton uses more pesticides than any other single crop, thus dubbing it the world’s dirtiest crop. Where is Organic Cotton From? Organic cotton is much better than usual cotton. Traditional cotton uses a lot of water and harmful pesticides and chemicals. Organic cotton features: 1. Organic cotton is not chemically treated to prevent shrinkage so it is possible to experience shrinking. Organic cotton doesn’t use pesticides. Conventional cotton is often harvested by machines to keep up with the rush of high demand. Organic cotton is slightly more expensive than cotton since it has a lower yield —and should be third-party certified. These can pollute waterways or nearby land. Conventional cotton is in high demand because of the large quantities needed for production worldwide. Certified organic cotton is cotton fiber that has been grown without pesticides and fertilizers, through a process that preserves biodiversity, biological cycles and soil well-being. These extra toxins and chemicals make conventional cotton risky. | Powered by WordPress, By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. However, there are several differences between conventional cotton and organic cotton fibers. What is Organic Cotton? Although the natural fertilizers and products used in manufacturing may be cheaper, the economic market for organic cotton forces most farmers to have to raise the price. Technically, neither should be softer than the other - the sole difference should be whether the cotton is produced organically (without pesticides, etc.) Sustainable Fabrics: Conventional Cotton vs Organic Cotton, https://textileexchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Textile-Exchange_Quick-Guide-To-Organic-Cotton_2017.pdf, https://www.soilassociation.org/media/11662/coolcotton.pdf, How to Repair Outdoor Gear – Basic Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair, BioLite CampStove 2 Review – Everything you need to know about the BioLite CampStove, Sleep in Your Car: A Prius Platform Build (with no backseats), Sustainability Spotlight: Knickey Organic Cotton Underwear, Sustainability Spotlight: A Q&A with Picture Organic Clothing, New Osprey Rook vs Osprey Atmos Backpack Review, Challenger K1 Kayak Review: Inflatable Kayak Review 2020, The Best Vegan Hiking Boots and Shoes of 2020. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. The big question is whether or not it’s even better than conventional cotton? The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. Good article. Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants. The difference between cotton vs. organic cotton is in the production, and more importantly, how these differing production techniques impact the planet and also us as individuals. First of all, the source of information is crucial when it comes to these statistics and big claims. However, with conventional cotton, there are more “necessary” elements added to the growth process to keep up with the supply and demand chain. Safe working conditions for the workers. They use a variety of natural products in manufacturing, including potato starch, low-impact dyes, and earth clays. Organic cotton is more durable because as mentioned above, the hand-picking method preserves the longer fibers, keeping them intact and therefore stronger. You can avoid shrinking as much as possible by following the care labels and air drying the products. The climate, farming method, soil type, and weather history of the area all affect how much water the cotton farmer will use in that particular year. Is organic cotton really that much more sustainable than conventionally grown cotton? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The organic cotton is grown from the ground. The seeds may be genetically modified and the ground may have a large variety of chemicals added to it to supposedly aid in the yield amount and protection from disease or pests. All cotton is grown from the ground, so what makes organic cotton so special? Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton from plants not genetically modified and that is certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides. Organic cotton is an essential material for someone who is trying to have a non-toxic lifestyle. Second, during the manufacturing process, organic cotton is not bleached or treated with toxic chemicals. BCI systems employ good cultivation practices like intercropping and reduce use of mineral fertilizers for cultivation. The lack of chemicals in all of this aids in maintaining the natural purity and soft texture. It also uses far less water to grow since organic cotton growers typically utilize rain far more than irrigation. Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals, leaving the soil, air and water free from contaminates that cause harm. That said, organic cotton garments are best reserved for casual dayhikes and day-to-day life, not trekking across Appalachia (or even a weekend backpacking trip). She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. No harmful chemicals in the textile factories 5. In a clear case of supply restrictions, hemps is much pricier than organic cotton and is often even blended with (hopefully organic) cotton to reduce its price tag. Yes, it contains no chemicals that could irritate your skin. The machine-picked method damages the fibers. These organic bedding brands are sure to deliver on the product quality for you and quality of life for their suppliers. Want numbers? Conventional cotton is capable of irritating someone’s skin simply because of the chemical residues left after the manufacturing process. Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. Organic cotton is eco-friendly because it does not disrupt the natural processes happening in the soil, water, or air around the cotton field. Conventional cotton yields (the amount of fiber per acre) tend to be higher than organic, creating a better return on land and water investments. Percale is a type of plain weave and is used mostly for bed sheets. Organic cotton must also be produced completely free of genetic modification. Here at Cat & Dogma, we choose organically grown cotton as the material to make our adorable, comfy baby clothes. Some sources say organic cotton uses less water than regular cotton. Plain weave, which is also called flat weave, means that the threads that run vertically and the threads that run horizontally cross each other one at a time. But what’s the difference? Try it today to feel the difference yourself. USDA Certified Organic Cotton vs GOTS Certified Organic Cotton As Mattress Ingredients - When you decide to buy organic cotton, even if it's just a pair of organic socks, you'd like to think you're getting a product that isn't saturated in chemicals or off-gassing known carcinogens. It’s usually sized, all using natural oils to help in that process. Here, the definition is much simpler, and hasn’t become confused. Organic cotton is generally defined as cotton that is grown organically in subtropical countries such as India, Turkey, China, and parts of the USA from non-genetically modified plants, and without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides aside from the ones allowed by the certified organic labeling. The real issue to focus on is not which type of cotton uses less water, but which cotton contaminates the water. Then, you have to consider the location where the cotton is being grown. No, it does not, unlike synthetic fabrics. As you’ve noticed, there are a few major problems with the process of growing and manufacturing conventional cotton. One advantage of cotton is that since it is a natural (not synthetic) fiber, it will biodegrade more quickly than, say, polyester or nylon, which is great! The chemical fertilizers, GMO seeds, and manufacturing chemicals needed to produce the necessary yield are all quite expensive. When grown organically, the yield is … If that wasn’t enough, these pigments often contain materials such as petroleum, or metal. Organic sheets, pillows, comforters, and even the outside of each mattress are all made from these high quality textiles. You cannot always trust a second-hand source who may have chosen the “studies” that suit their stance on the matter. It can shrink up to 10% if it’s exposed to high temperatures. This helps to avoid further fiber damage, making it a much more durable material than conventional cotton. Conventional cotton is the kind of cotton which is most widely used, also called “traditional” or “ordinary” cotton. Organic cotton is untouched by chemicals when it’s spun into yarn. When comparing the amount of water, the Textile Exchange explains that to produce a T-shirt, it would require about 2,168 gallons of water versus just 186 gallons for organic cotton. Cotton, Inc. and. Whereas cotton, if it's not 100% organic, is grown with the use of a lot of pesticides and herbicides, most of which are known to be quite dangerous for our health. The usual cotton is machine-cleaned. Organic cotton requires more space to grow the same amount of harvestable material, but even so, according to the. If you want to support brands that use fairtrade organic cotton, take a look at Coyuchi, YaYa and Co., or Grund America. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers while chemical cotton is dependent on both. Organic cotton contributes less to global warming. Or vice versa. According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, “cotton crops cover 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but use 6% of the world’s pesticides, more than any other single major crop.”. For instance, if you were to dry your organic cotton sheet in the dryer on a hot setting. Organic cotton working alongside the Better Cotton Initiative is the most ethical and sustainable option if this fabric is to be used. The basic necessities of soil, sun, water, and seeds are all used in growing organic cotton. “Cotton batting does contain pesticide residues, if it is not organic, as it is not as processed as cotton fabric. Organic cotton has shown the lowest impacts across all categories assessed, due to non-use of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the only additives being manures, and the soil quality being controlled by crop rotation. It’s as easy as that! 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