Organic Cotton vs. Traditional Cotton
Conventional cotton farming is viewed by many as one of the most environmentally destructive agricultural practices. The process harms the air, water, soil, and the farmers’ health and safety. The cause of this harm comes from the huge amounts of pesticides used in conventional cotton farming. Although cotton occupies three percent of the world’s farmland, it uses more than ten percent of the pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants. When pesticides are sprayed from the air, they spread easily to surrounding neighborhoods, with an estimated ten percent of the spray actually accomplishing their goal. The rest are absorbed by plants, soil, air, water, and our bodies—killing wildlife and harming ecosystems. The US Fish & Wildlife Service reports that millions of fish and birds are killed every year from the legal application of pesticides.
When it comes to cotton, the best way to reduce the pesticide problem is to go organic, for organic cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers, defoliants, pesticides, or herbicides, and from untreated, non genetically-modified seed. By the farmers rotating the crops to replenish and maintain the soil’s fertility, they control pests and weeds naturally, using insect predators, traps, or botanical pesticides that are broken down quickly by oxygen and sunlight. As a result, organic farming is healthier and safer for farmers, fieldworkers, and nearby communities. Another benefit of growing cotton organically is that small-scale farmers who don’t have the means to buy expensive pesticides can compete with lower overhead. And organic cotton farming uses significantly less water and electric power than conventional cotton farming techniques.
So the next time you are looking to outfit your company with branded clothing, be sure to choose textiles that are made from Organic Cotton!