My Cart

Close
Is It Worth Buying Organic Cotton? Pros & Cons

Is It Worth Buying Organic Cotton? Pros & Cons

 

Thinking of buying organic cotton? You might want to know the benefits and disadvantages of this type of cotton. There are many pros and cons to organic cotton. factors to consider when making conscious choices for your wardrobe. This goes for organic cotton over conventional cotton. And for other eco-friendly fabrics such as bamboo, linen, hemp, lyocell.

Sustainability should not have to be labeled on clothing. Everything we consume should be sustainable. This is the ideal we at Panaprium are working towards. Making sustainability a priority without sacrificing great style and low price. If you are actively making an effort to be conscious of your fashion footprint, start with organic clothing.

 

What is Organic Cotton?


To produce organic cotton, the seeds used are non GMO (genetically modified) and the cotton is grown without synthetic chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers). It does sounds a lot better than regular cotton. But surprisingly, there are still many disadvantages of this type of cotton.

Keep in mind that certified organic cotton provide more certainty than non certified organic cotton. It is a good idea to look for certifications when buying organic clothing generally (GOTS, OE100, Fair Wear, KBA,...).

So watch out for marketing tactics and the difference between how different countries grow their cotton. Conventional cotton production results in biodiversity losses, soil fertility reduction, health problems due to toxic chemicals from pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides.

White cotton represents 2.5% of the total agricultural area on Earth. But it uses 7% of all pesticides and 16% of all insecticides. These strong chemicals participate in the production of conventional cotton. They are subsequently released into the environment and have harmful effects on farmers' health and ecosystems.

On the environmental side, organic cotton is better than normal cotton. Organic cotton farming is less likely to contribute to acidification, eutrophication and global warming. Buying organic means helping with soil fertility and biodiversity. But it is not that simple. Organic cotton is better in some areas compared to regular cotton, but worse in others. Here are some of the pros and cons of organic cotton.

Worth Buying Organic Pros Cons

The Pros Of Organic Cotton (Benefits)


Organic cotton is significantly more environmentally friendly.
Less synthetic chemicals used overall. Less pesticides, nitrogen fertilizers.
Less synthetic chemical in freshwater sources and less water pollution.
Less air pollution.
Better dying, bleaching and overall production process.
Cleaner and more natural cotton seed.
Less soil contamination and better soil health.
Lower impact on wild life and their eco-systems.
Better crop diversity and less mono cultural crops.
Lesser health impact on workers. Fairer working conditions.

 

The Cons Of Organic Cotton (Disadvantages)


In some cases, organic cotton production uses more resources.
More land, water and energy used.
Lower yield, less efficient and less revenue.
Cannot keep up with the demand for it.
Higher greenhouse gas emissions sometimes.
More labor and time intensive.
Lack subsidies and protection.
Some harmful natural pesticides.
Very slow conversion and certification process.
More expensive to produce and sell.

 Worth Buying Organic Cons

 

Is Organic Cotton Better Than Regular Cotton?


The pros and cons of organic cotton are listed above in a general sense. Is buying organic always better? Yes in most cases. But the final verdict all depends on who you are buying from, where the cotton sourced and how it is grown (which country, which farm and supply chain). A lot depends on how it is produced overall.

The geographic location has a huge impact on cotton quality. The farm where the cotton is grown, the methods used to grow the cotton, how the cotton is produced play a major role. Organic cotton is a good purchase if the organic farming practices are good enough. The use of natural pesticides, fertilizers compared to synthetic chemicals, and the use of natural cotton seeds compared to GMO seeds.

Remember to look for certification such as GOTS Certified Organic Cotton when making a purchase decision. This way, you can expect from products quality, environmental and social sustainability.

The main environmental concern is water usage related to irrigation. In countries such as India, water is a rare resource because of scarcity. The most water-efficient option is rain-fed cotton, where cotton gets water from rainfall. But there is no way to know if the cotton we buy required additional water. Organic, all-natural is not always better. Many consider maximizing product per amount of inputs as the better solution.

At Panaprium, we believe that organic cotton benefits in using fewer chemicals are far too great to pass on. Organic is generally less harmful on the environment and the health of workers. Cotton is one of the most common fibers in the apparel industry. Before a cotton garment is sold, it must be dyed and finished. It is one of the dirtiest and most chemically intensive steps in making clothing. Life-threatening health problems for those who have been exposed repeatedly to toxic chemicals are unacceptable and have to be avoided completely. So let's buy Certified Organic.

 

 

About the Author: Alex Assoune

Alex Assoune Alex is passionate about conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. He writes to raise awareness around the environmental and social impact of fashion.


Share


More, More, More


Related Articles

happy consumers

The Advantages of Fast Fashion for Consumers

Fast fashion has been rising in popularity over the last 20 years. It allowed brands and retailers such as Zara, H&M, Primark, Forever 21, GAP to grow into large global... Read More

What Are The Alternatives To Fast Fashion

I never paid much attention to how my clothes were being made. Soon after I started to learn about the disastrous impact of fast fashion, I tried to find the... Read More
pink dress
compassion couple

Compassion Is The Key To Happiness: A Dalai Lama Message

I believe that compassion is the key to happiness. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama also thinks that way. With a more compassionate mind, we feel better about ourselves. The... Read More

What Causes Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is socially and environmentally damaging. But that doesn't prevent consumers to buy more fast fashion each year globally. I used to shop fast fashion before 2016 very frequently.... Read More
fashion blue coat
denim pile

10 Ways To Keep Your Clothing Out Of Landfills

Clothing is pilling up in landfills at an alarming rate. The fast fashion industry, overproduction, and overconsumption of cheap disposable clothing are responsible for tons of textile waste, land, air,... Read More

What Does Upcycled Clothing Mean

The demand for upcycled clothing is rising. There is a regain interest in upcycling clothes among conscious consumers and in the fashion industry as a whole. And that's excellent for... Read More
upcycled skirt
blonde fashion model lighting

An Introduction To Slow Fashion And Why It Matters

Where to start with slow fashion? There are so many things to consider, plenty of terms and resources to consume. It's overwhelming when you are trying to build a more... Read More

10 Endangered Animals Used For Clothing

Anthropologists believe that men and women began wearing clothes after the last ice age using animal skins and vegetation. Animals were used for clothing as protection from rain, wind, cold,... Read More
endangered seal sleep
blonde fashion model

How Many Pieces Of Clothing Does A Woman Need

Are you wondering if you have too many pieces of clothing in your wardrobe? If you are asking yourself this question, you already know the answer. Yes, you do! The... Read More

Top 10 Advantages Of Buying Second Hand Clothes

Buying second-hand clothing is becoming cool again. There are many advantages of shopping for used clothes and many consumers see it.Thrifting not only helps your wallet but also the planet!... Read More
red used clothing top

0 comments

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing