What is organic cotton?

We are by now well used to the idea of organically grown food, but what about crops we don’t eat? Cotton is one of the most popular materials in the world, suitable for a vast variety of purposes, and is now beginning to be cultivated organically in much the same way as edible crops. Read on to find out more about this new kind of environmentally friendly production.

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What is it?

Organic cotton is characterised by how it is produced. Normally, growing cotton involves the use of many types of chemical, some of which are harmful to the environment. Organic cotton is produced in ways that bypass these chemicals, such as pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. Organic methods replace the goodness that cotton growth absorbs from the soil, allowing the soil to maintain its fertility. Verification organisations monitor organic cotton farms to ensure cotton crops are being grown in strict accordance to their rules. When sourcing organic cotton fabric online, be sure to check it has been properly certified.

Why is it a good idea?

Growing cotton organically is beneficial to both the environment and to the people who care for the crops. Not using chemicals to aid growth means less pollution of the earth’s soil, air and water supplies, and allows the cotton farmers to work in safety. Chemicals used in traditional cotton farming have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of farmers, and are included among lists of the most toxic substances by environmental agencies.

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Is it popular?

Organic cotton is a rapidly growing market, with more and more consumers realising the importance of organically produced goods. One need only look at the number of fabric websites, such as, for example, to see how popular this type of material is. This rise in customer demand is fueling increases in commercial production – in 2010, a 20 percent growth was reported in global sales of organic cotton from the previous year. In that year alone, US organic cotton producers harvested over 11,000 acres of cotton.

Organic cotton is an environmentally friendly, ethically produced material that is fast growing in popularity around the globe. It has the potential to outpace its less responsibly grown counterpart in the global market, due to its benefits for both the environment and for the people involved in its production.

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