Organic is becoming a sign of quality, a marker for responsible, ethical farming. With climate concerns moving up the global agenda, it is also becoming a clear sign of taking care of the environment, encouraging biodiversity, and being custodians of the land on which the cotton crop is grown.
The marker of organic and sustainable cotton has become a sign of producing an ethical and quality crop. It enables better farming practices and encourages initiatives to help its producers.
The stamp of organic enables these sustainable practices and encourages a supply chain that is fair. It encourages farming practices that avoid pesticides, thereby reducing production costs and farming debts; builds soil fertility, locking more CO2 into the soil, reducing emissions; avoids hazardous chemicals associated with health problems for workers; and encourages better working conditions through regulated minimum wages, working hours and child labour risks.
The end product doesn’t contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues.
The benefits of organic and sustainable cotton have been picked up by the fashion industry in recent years. Primark’s sustainable cotton programme has seen Indian women farmers increase profits by 247%. Using sustainable methods, the farmers have also seen a higher yield and decreased water usage.
Meanwhile, as well as avoiding leather in all of its products, Stella McCartney now uses up to 72% organic cotton in its denim collection, and 54% in its cotton jersey. Similarly, H&M set a target to use only sustainable cotton in its products by 2020, and now ranks third in the Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2020.