Is organic cotton truly better?

The world's long-standing love affair with cotton comes as no surprise.

Cotton is soft, durable, absorbent, breathable, non-allergenic and easy to care for (perfect for busy parents like us!). Cotton's ability to keep the body cool in hot weather and insulated in cool weather also makes it a favourite for trans-seasonal clothing. 

But it turns out that this white cloud-like fibre – grown conventionally – is the world's "dirtiest" crop, responsible for environmental pollution through its notorious dependence on pesticides and insecticides (which also pose risks to human health), soil quality degradation, and excessive water consumption. 

Organic cotton on the other hand consumes 91% less water, consumes 62% less energy, emits 46% less CO2 and reduces soil erosion by 26%, compared with conventional cotton. 
Organic cotton vs Conventional cotton

Diving deeper into how organic cotton is truly better... 

Organic cotton vs conventional cotton

Truly, organic cotton is not only better for the environment, it is better for the health of farmers and surrounding communities (particularly women), and our families. Plus, organic cotton feels super soft!

Despite the wealth of evidence touting the benefits of organic cotton, only 1% of global cotton is organic, of which two-thirds come from India, the world’s leading organic cotton producer. This indicates that global demand for organic cotton is still very low compared to demand for conventional cotton. More needs to be done to increase consumer awareness of how organic cotton is truly better. 

What we can do today
  • Choose certified organic cotton brands.
  • Talk to friends and family about how organic cotton is better for the environment and farmers.
  • Read more and understand the impact you can make by choosing organic cotton. For example, see the impact you can make by shopping at Lily & Lord. 

 

 

References:

PE International. The life cycle assessment of organic cotton fiber - a global average. Commissioned by Textile Exchange. 2014

Pesticide Action Network UK. Is cotton conquering its chemical addiction? 2018

    Thomas, G. and Tavernier, J.D. Farmer-suicide in India: debating the role of biotechnology. Life Science Social Policy. 2017

    http://aboutorganiccotton.org/stats/

    https://cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-library/fact-sheets/cotton-fact-file-cotton-properties-and-products

    http://cottonupguide.org/why-source-sustainable-cotton/what-is-sustainable-cotton/

    http://www.fao.org/natural-fibres-2009/about/15-natural-fibres/en/

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2014/may/05/india-cotton-suicides-farmer-deaths-gm-seeds

     

     

      What I adore about this brand is that we're creating pieces that children will want to wear over and over because they love it that much.

      Evelyn Leow, Creative Director of Lily & Lord