There are a number of differing materials when it comes to textiles. Some natural, some man-made and then like most, a mix of natural and synthetic. But what is all the hype around ‘organic’. Is there really a difference between regular cotton vs. organic cotton. The answer is simple, yes.
Regular cotton, while being natural, is grown using insecticides and pesticides. The majority of cotton seeds are also grown using genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). The soils are provided nutrients from synthetic fertilizers and the fields lack their own nutrients due to a mono crop system which strips the soil from the benefits that are naturally added in soils that utilize a crop rotation method. Weed control in the fields are also controlled through herbicides which when sprayed, cause loss of moisture and strip the soil from already lacking nutrients.
Organic cotton is natural in every sense of the term. The cotton seeds are never exposed to any GMO’s so they remain free from insecticides and pesticides. Organic cotton fields are grown on nutrient rich soils and done so through well monitored crop-rotation. The soils that organic cotton are grown within, are preserved by multi-crops leaving the soil rich in nutrients as well as maintained through organic matter which retain and preserve the soils moisture content and nutrient levels. Weed and pests are naturally controlled and removed from the fields by human labour, leaving the cotton free from chemicals found in herbicides that are absorbed in the plants and the soil. The use of natural methods in weed and pest control, leave the soil healthy and drives a healthy balance between insects and natural predators.
So whats the end result. Organic cotton strives its production on systems that replenish the soil fertility through reduction or elimination of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Along with its constant soil monitoring done through crop rotation, organic cotton is left in a more pure form that is eco-friendly. Contrary to organic cotton, conventional cotton is grown through intensive water irrigation, synthetic fertilizers and GMO’s along with their employment of the mono crop system which inevitably leaves soils stripped of their own nutrients and moisture content, leaving the need for more chemicals. As the process in growing conventional cotton vs organic cotton requires more manual labour, the cost of organic cotton will reflect that; however, the quality of fabric will also be reflected in being more soft and durable, hypoallergenic and of course eco-friendly.