Organic cotton vs conventional cotton- Which cotton is better?
Before moving onto organic or conventional, one thing is clear: cotton is the most preferred fabric. The majority of our clothes are either made of cotton or cotton blends. And cotton, being such a widely used crop, can’t simply be omitted from our lives; it has to be used, but sustainably.
Before you look further, there’s no doubt that cotton is skin-friendly but not environmentally friendly. Facts and figures on cotton cultivation clearly state that conventional cotton farming practises are impacting this planet in many ways. Read in detail about the environmental impacts of conventional cotton.
The only option now is to switch to sustainable fabrics, which include cotton—but only organic cotton.
Know what organic cotton is?
Simply stated, organic cotton is cultivated without the use of pesticides or fertilisers and limits the use of natural water resources. This keeps the soil fertile for a longer period of time. Organic cotton enhances biodiversity and is beneficial for ecosystem.
Per the Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Farm & Fiber Report (2018), global production of organic cotton exceeded 117,000 metric tons, cultivated on about 472 hectares.
|| INDIA PRODUCES 51% OF TOTAL ORGANIC COTTON
Why is organic cotton expensive?
- Uses non-GMO seeds: Non-GM seeds (Genetically modified seeds) are costlier as compared to GMO seeds.
- Labor-intensive process: Due to the non-usage of fertilizers, pesticides, or any other chemicals, farmers have to intervene to protect the crop from insects. But it also keeps them safe from any interaction with harmful chemicals and reduces the health risk.
- Less yield: Organic cotton has a lesser yield as compared to regular cotton, and this causes a mismatch in supply and demand. This causes a high price charge for organic cotton.
Organic cotton vs conventional cotton
Organic cotton is handpicked, unlike regular cotton, where machines are heavily used to meet the demand. This causes more breakage of the fibers, and hence more losses.
No harmful chemicals are used while farming, and hence organic cotton is completely gentle on the skin.
Maintaining soil health
With crop rotation to cultivate organic cotton, soil health is retained. This is not the case with conventional cotton, where the same soil is used over and over, degrading the soil health.
No contamination of the water
Harmful chemicals not only contaminate the water bodies but also affect the crop and interfere with the moisture and nutrient contents of the soil.
Which cotton should I prefer?
Though organic cotton also has its cons, like using more land resources for rotational farming, it has a lower yield, is more labour intensive, and is expensive. But buying organic cotton is also beneficial, as it’s safer for farmers, the environment, and your skin as well.
Choose what is best for you and the environment. Be a conscious buyer.