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From Farm to Fashion: What Is Organic Cotton?

Cotton is one of the most common fabrics in people’s daily lives. In recent years, with the change of concept, more and more people are inclined to choose products made of organic cotton, making it a new trend in fashion. So, what exactly is organic cotton? As you read further, this post will give you the most detailed answer.

What is Organic Cotton?

Organic cotton, a natural and environmentally friendly textile raw material, mainly refers to cotton cultivated and produced without chemicals and genetically modified products. Generally speaking, the cotton defined as “organic” in a strict sense usually needs to be tested and certified by certain professional third-party organizations, such as OCS (Organic Content Standard), GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), Oeko-Tex, and so on.

Why Should You Choose Organic Cotton?

Why is organic cotton becoming more and more popular these days? The most immediate reason is its wide range of benefits. Simply put, whether you are a planter, retailer, or consumer, organic cotton will always be a good choice.

If you’re a planter, then…

Organic cotton is grown in an ecological method with a lower impact on the environment, whichever improves the sustainability of the total environment and establishes a healthy ecosystem. By reducing the use of harmful chemicals, both the health of the cotton itself and the state of the soil are stabilized over time. These factors also mean that growers can work in a rather safe field with less physical damage. Therefore, growing organic cotton can be considered a long-term sustainable ecological development model.

If you’re a retailer, then…

As environmental awareness improves, more and more people tend to buy clothes made of organic cotton, which means a promising market in the future. The market is not huge yet; it is a wise investment to get into the market now. Products made from organic cotton also make it easier to pass some of the laws or regulations related to the environment. At the same time, selling products made of organic cotton is also a significant contribution to improving brand image and user favorability.

If you’re a consumer, then…

As a natural fabric, organic cotton, grown and produced without chemicals, is mild on your skin with less irritation, hardly causing certain skin disorders from allergies or other substances. At the same time, choosing organic cotton is also a way to cultivate environmental protection awareness. In fact, it is another form of support for environmental protection and the treatment of workers.

How Organic Cotton Impacts the Environment?

Many people only know that organic cotton could contribute to environmental protection. So, how specifically is organic cotton good for the environment in different ways?

  • Soil Health

Since no pesticides or other similar chemicals are used, growing organic cotton does not damage the soil on a chemical level. Not only that, but growing it for some time also maintains the soil fertility, preventing soil degradation, nutrient depletion, and erosion. Therefore, growing organic cotton can keep the soil healthy and make it adapt to long-term cultivation.

  • Water Conservation

Growing conventional cotton consumes considerable water resources – some regions even name it “white gold”. Instead, growing organic cotton is usually paired with a more rational approach to irrigation, which follows a relatively scientific pattern for the characteristics of organic cotton. By following these advanced irrigation methods, significant water conservation can be achieved. According to the average results of several studies, growing organic cotton can save about 75-90% of water compared with growing non-organic cotton.

  • Pollution Prevention

The use of chemicals inevitably leaves residues: they may remain on the crop, be hidden in the soil, or even be carried further along the water stream. And they are highly likely to cause significant harm to the creatures, including humans and animals, that live in the neighborhood. In addition, according to a rough estimate, 10% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by growing conventional cotton, surpassing the sum of aviation and maritime shipping. However, growing organic cotton could decrease these pollutions to a relatively minimum level.

  • Biodiversity Preservation

Growing organic cotton actually contributes to biodiversity preservation. While growing organic cotton, the grower also asks for help from other organisms. An obvious example is how pests are exterminated. As chemicals such as pesticides cannot be used, many people choose to grow plants such as turmeric, bitter apple, and other crops to gain natural extracts to inhibit the growth of pests. By and large, in this way, many plants and animals flourish, enriching the diversity of species to a great extent.

  • Sustainable Ecosystem

From soil and water to plants and animals, these natural elements, along with organic cotton, construct a small ecosystem. Plants and animals live together in this small ecosystem, with recyclable water and fertile soil that can be utilized for a long time. Therefore, they contribute to the health of this environment, making the cultivation of organic cotton oriented towards establishing a sustainable development model.

Which to Choose: Organic Cotton or Conventional Cotton?

If leaving aside the environmental impact, what are the differences between organic cotton and conventional cotton? How to choose between organic cotton and conventional cotton? Is organic cotton really better than conventional cotton?

To tell the truth, it’ll be hard to tell the distinct differences if you compare the physical properties between organic and non-organic cotton. Certain research institutions compare organic cotton with regular cotton concerning performance indicators such as tensile strength properties, abrasion resistance, breathability, durability, thermal insulation, glossiness, etc. The result is that their physical properties are basically the same, with the regualr cotton better for a little bit.

However, there are rather extensive differences when it comes to a chemical level. Chemical substances remaining, non-organic cotton that comes into contact with users’ skin directly might cause some dermatology-related diseases. Those who use products made of organic cotton, in contrast, will risk no such potential damage.

By and large, while the physical properties remain similar, it’s still a better choice to pick products made of organic cotton, considering your health.

The Fashion Applications of Organic Cotton Fabric

Though only a newly-explored trend, there is already a relatively wide range of applications for organic cotton in fashion. And in addition to the categories listed below, many more fashion applications are still waiting to be explored.

  1. Everyday Bedding

A person needs an average of seven to nine hours of sleep daily. While spending all the time with your everyday bedding, no one wants these things they contacting with to harm themselves. This is why organic cotton fabrics are widely used in household products. Containing nearly no chemicals and hazardous substances alike, bedding made of organic cotton can provide you with a comfortable and reassuring night experience.

  1. Daily Apparel

Due to the growing environmental protection awareness, organic cotton is also increasingly entering people’s daily apparel vision. However, certified organic cotton clothing doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% in content. Generally speaking, daily apparel usually uses a certain percentage of organic cotton mixed with other fabrics to make blended fabric for better performance. For example, GOTS certified organic cotton products typically require more than 70% organic cotton content.

  1. Working Uniform

To better protect workers’ rights, some companies have equipped their employees with organic cotton certified work uniforms for better health protection. Many working uniforms, such as mechanic jumpsuits, work gloves, and coveralls, are gradually changing their materials towards organic cotton.

Conclusion

From farm to fashion, this post explains in detail what organic cotton is. Choosing organic cotton is not only about taking care of your body but also about supporting the health of the global environment. In fact, natural fabrics like organic cotton and silk are all environmentally friendly to some extent. If you have any need to manufacture products made of silk, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sinosilk at any time for detailed information.

More Resources

What is Cotton: The Comprehensive Guide

Polyester vs Cotton: Which is Better?

Tencel vs Cotton – The Ultimate Comparison

Bamboo Fabric vs Cotton: Which is Better?

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