What Is Organic Cotton? Organic Cotton Facts You Need To Know

In recent times, there has been consistent production of multiple cotton products for consumers across numerous product categories. In fact, within the last few years, the marketplace has seen a surge in cotton products, with the most prominent being organic cotton.  The market is now packed with a flurry of cotton products with many dubbed ‘organic.’ But precisely, what does this mean? Exactly what is ‘Organic Cotton?’ and what is the difference between it and standard cotton?

For this and much more about organic cotton, keep reading this excerpt, and get to know more about everything organic cotton.


About Organic Cotton:

What Is Organic Cotton? And why is it ‘organic?’

Typically, organic cotton represents cotton, which is produced and subsequently certified to organic (agricultural) standards. The production of this cotton sustains the ecosystems, soil health, and individuals since it incorporates natural processes as opposed to artificial inputs.

What’s more, and perhaps the most important thing is that farming of organic cotton prohibits the usage of GMOs or toxic chemicals. Instead, this farming combines innovation, tradition, and science in benefiting the shared environment as well as promoting a decent life quality for everything/everyone involved.

* GMO-genetically modified organisms.

Is Organic Cotton Sustainable?

In essence, organic cotton and sustainability are synonymous. The farmers growing organic cotton look towards producing a relatively more sustainable product relative to the water supply, health of the growing fields, as well as the air.

In fact, when it comes to the production of organic cotton, the farmers minimize pesticide use and only rely on natural fertilizers with no use of synthetic fertilizers. Moreover, farming activities use all-natural seeds instead of GMOs.

When marketing organic products, manufacturers need to follow through braid third-party entities’ (NGO and government alike) supply chain verification

What is the difference between Organic and standard Cotton?

Ideally, for a product to be considered organic, they must fulfill several different steps, including:

  • Exhibit a relatively low impact on the surroundings;
  • Refrain from using toxic chemicals in their cultivation
  • Intentional efforts need to be made towards maximizing soil fertility

Typically, organic products are free from synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides in their cultivation/production process. With organic cotton especially, the producers prohibit GMO use hence producing higher quality and eco-friendly cotton.

Nonetheless, with these methods, the production quantity is relatively lesser and usually fairly costlier-hence the reason for the expensive characteristic of organic cotton compared to standard cotton textiles.


Production of Organic Cotton:

What is the total quantity of Organic Cotton grown globally?

According to the findings of a research article on one university assignment writing service, the global organic cotton production stands slightly above 117,000 metric tons.

The article also further elaborates on the 2018 report by Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Farm & Fiber findings that indicate that the aforementioned global production comes from over 472 hectares (1172acres). Although these figures may appear quite massive, the production of organic cotton only represents a little less than 1% of the total global cotton production.

Organic Cotton Market Value

In reference to the Textile Exchange Global Market 2010 Report, organic cotton global sales (home and apparel textile products) were valued at slightly over $5 billion.  However, these numbers tripled to around $15.7 billion by 2014. With the increased production, more organizations have subsequently held on to sustainable processing and product traceability standards. This has consequently established a relatively fair playing field for the producers.

Why is Organic Cotton costlier than standard cotton to produce?

In essence, compared to standard cotton, organic cotton is somewhat costlier, and for various reasons. First, the latter is grown by the use of non-GMO seeds that are relatively more expensive. This is in addition to the other materials used by farmers, only purposed for organically-cultivated crops.

Furthermore, organic cotton farming practices are typically more labor-intensive, owing to pesticides and herbicides restrictions. As such, the organic cotton cultivators hand-hoe the crops to eradicate and prevent the growth of weed during crop production.

Finally, compared to standard crops, organically-grown products produce relatively fewer yields. As such, demand and supply also play a vital role, since the available organic cotton is lesser compared to the standard cotton. This effectively drives up its price.


Organic Cotton Products

Common products made from Organic Cotton

Currently, consumers can purchase organic cotton in a wide range of products. Generally, these products can encompass multiple and diverse categories, including personal care items like sanitary products, children products such as diapers, home furnishings like blankets, and fabrics among others. What’s more, organic cotton is also available in various apparel types.


Next time anyone asks you what organic cotton is, you now know the basic facts and the essential details about it to give an informed answer. Essentially, organic cotton is a fantastic option not just because it saves the planet, but also because it is ideal for us as well as our health.

By going organic, you effectively say NO to toxic chemicals use, unfair and hazardous working conditions, long-term health effects for our bodies, and of course, environmental degradation on both local as well as global scale.


About the Author

Sandra Larson

Sandra is an accredited freelance writer specializing in policy and urban issues. She is also a practicing policy analyst.

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