Organic cotton is a term given to cotton that is made organically. Organic cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals. Instead, more sustainable agricultural methods are used to reduce/eliminate pests, enhance growth, maintain the soil quality, and protect the people who harvest the cotton.
Traditional, non-organic cotton uses more chemicals per crop than any other crop. Non-organic cotton accounts for around 16% of the world’s pesticides! The chemicals used pollute the air and water. Residual chemicals can even irritate the skin of consumers.
Even worse, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 20,000 deaths per year are attributed to pesticide poisoning in developing countries. Many of these deaths are cotton farmers.
If you’re searching for products made from organic cotton, look for organic certification. Organic certification is verification from a third party that the cotton is in fact, organic. In the US, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) certifies organic cotton. In other countries such as Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa, SKAL certifies organic cotton.
Organic certification is quite a drawn out process. As an example, the soil used for organic farming must not have been sprayed with a banned substance over the previous 3 years. Furthermore, certified organic farms are inspected regularly and must maintain comprehensive records of their production methods.
So, when you choose organic cotton over non-organic cotton, you know that you’re choosing a more sustainable product.