Conventional Cotton

We avoid chemical fertilizer and pesticide use

Each year, conventionally-grown cotton producers use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides — more than 10% of the world’s pesticides and nearly 25% of the world’s insecticides.

Cotton growers typically use many of the most hazardous pesticides on the market including aldicarb, phorate, methamidophos, and endosulfan. Cotton pesticides are often broad-spectrum organophosphates - pesticides originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II - and carbamate pesticides. 1

Organic cotton avoids the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; and on average uses 91% less water and 62% less energy than its conventional counterpart.2 GOTS is our target standard, and all but one of our sources is accredited to this level.

Why We Choose Organic Cotton

  • Organic cotton sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. Its cultivation relies on ecological processes and cycles, rather than artificial inputs which can have unintended adverse effects. 3

  • Organic cotton uses only untreated seeds and prohibits the use of GMO seeds. 4

  • Organic farming builds soil matter through crop rotation and the practice of intercropping, in which farmers grow two or more crops in close proximity. Crop diversity is also beneficial to farmers, as it provides multiple sources of income and exposes them to less risk of a poor harvest, or fluctuations in commodity prices. 5

  • Insect populations globally are in decline. While conventional cotton farming uses highly toxic insecticides to control pests, organic farming methods use beneficial insects and biological practices to control them. 6

  • By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. Organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. 7

Footnotes

1. http://www.panna.org/resource-library
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