Organic Cotton vs. Conventional Cotton: Which Is Best?
You probably have a lot of cotton in your home - from the clothing in your closet to the towels in your bathroom to the sheets on your bed. But do you know if any of it is organic cotton? Cotton is one of the oldest and most common fibers used for creating textiles, and it’s a natural fiber - which means it’s biodegradable and better for the environment than synthetic materials.
However, all cotton is not created equally. The majority of cotton used and produced today is conventional cotton, which has increasingly damaging effects on the environment and people.
Conventional cotton growth requires tons of pesticides. The industry is responsible for 16% of the world’s insecticide use. That is more pesticide than any other crop. These chemicals leech into local water sources, which can be really harmful to the environment, animals, and people who depend on that water. Plus, insects build up a resistance to pesticides, so new options are constantly needed, which puts a greater financial burden on cotton farmers.
The effects of pesticides on people have been studied for decades. We’ve found that these chemicals are linked to birth defects, reproductive issues, miscarriages, and illness. Some pesticides can even pass into breast milk, which we then unknowingly feed to children.
Child labor has also been found to be an issue in conventional cotton production. Children in countries like China, Uzbekistan, and India have been forced to pick cotton.
Organic cotton is an ethical response to the issues with conventional cotton. It is grown using low environmental impact methods and materials. Organic cotton is grown without pesticides and focuses on using fewer resources than the alternative. By avoiding chemicals, soil fertility is replenished and maintained. Without the toxic pesticides, the surrounding environment thrives with biologically diverse agriculture. Additionally, organic cotton is grown with natural cotton seeds, not genetically engineered seeds that we see in the conventional cotton industry.
The results of organic cotton are profoundly different than conventional cotton. The health of the cotton workers, surrounding communities, and the local environment is much improved. Farmers experience a clean water supply, better biodiversity, and longer-lasting land.
In 2018 and 2019, 222,134 farmers in 19 countries grew 1.1 million bales of organic cotton. They used over a million acres of land to do so. This is great news, as it shows a 31% increase over the previous year.
Ready to Choose Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton protects our water, land, animals, and people. It even biodegrades at the end of its life cycle, going back to the soil that it helped to maintain. The choice is clear. That’s why Larva only creates clothing made with 100% organic cotton.
Every time you spend money, you make a vote by driving demand. Are you voting for dirty conventional cotton or sustainable organic cotton?