Certain textiles in the fashion industry are key to make clothing more eco-friendly, examples of that would be: organic cotton, hemp, linen and bamboo (depending on what kind). Here we will focus purely on organic cotton.
This article dives into what exactly is organic cotton, and why should you prefer it over conventional cotton? How is it recognisable.
At Snocks, we have dedicated ourselves to a more sustainable journey and aim not only to highlight the advantages of organic cotton but also to demonstrate how we incorporate it into our products.
Our mission is clear: to create fashionable basics that not only look good and feel good but are also good for our planet.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is cultivated using organic farming techniques without the application of synthetic chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers.
This nature-centric cultivation not only protects the environment but also safeguards the organic farmers and individuals who grow and process the cotton, producing organic cotton fabrics that are notable in the textile industry for their soft fabric and organic cotton feel.
For a more comprehensive guide comparing organic cotton and conventional cotton, click here.
Differentiation from Conventional Cotton:
While conventional cotton undergoes treatment with a plethora of harsh chemicals and heavy metals that can potentially harm both the environment and humans, the cultivation of organic cotton leans into natural methods and processes.
Leaving harmful chemicals aside, the soil quality remains fertile and water sources clean, markedly reducing the ecological footprint of the cultivation process and helping to conserve natural resources.
How is Organic Cotton Cultivated?
The cultivation of organic cotton initiates with the selection of non-genetically modified seeds, avoiding GMO cotton. Throughout the entire manufacturing process, no synthetic pesticides or fertilisers are utilised.
Instead, organic cotton farmers rely on organic production systems and natural methodologies like crop rotation or employing beneficial insects to control pests. This sustainable approach ensures the soil remains healthy and retains its fertility for years to come, contributing positively to global cotton production.
In contrast, non-organic cotton farming and conventional agriculture often involve the use of some of the most toxic chemicals and insecticides sold worldwide, posing risks like pesticide poisoning and negatively impacting organic crops.
Organically grown cotton, on the other hand, adheres to organic production standards, often requiring organic certification and utilizing natural pesticides as opposed to synthetic ones, ensuring a cleaner, more sustainable fabric production.
Advantages of Organic Cotton Cultivation:
- Environmentally Friendly: Refraining from using harmful chemicals protects the soil and water sources.
- Worker's Health: Without deploying toxic chemicals, individuals who grow and harvest the cotton are exposed to a lower health risk.
- Gentler on the Skin: Garments made from organic cotton are often hypoallergenic and feel softer, making them ideal for sensitive skin.
- Promoting a Sustainable Future: Cultivating organic cotton encourages sustainable agricultural practices that safeguard the planet for future generations.
Ensuring genuine organic cotton is differentiated from conventional cotton is paramount, and thankfully, there are several indicators to assist us:
- Certifications: Look out for seals like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Cotton Standards), OEKO-TEX® - unlike GOTS & OCS, OEKO-TEX is not a always a direct indicator for organic cotton but represents textile safely. These certifications guarantee that the cotton was grown without the use of harmful chemicals and meets strict ecological and social criteria.
- Product Descriptions: Many manufacturers who use organic cotton emphasize this in their product descriptions and labels. A quick glance at the label or product page often provides clarity.
- Price: Organic cotton can often be slightly more expensive than conventional cotton due to its sustainable and eco-friendly growth process.
- Touch and Appearance: While not always the case, organic cotton can often be softer and have a more natural color tone than treated cotton.
At Snocks, we prioritise ensuring our customers know precisely what they are purchasing. That’s why we clearly label our organic cotton products on the box, ensuring transparency and trust. It’s worth choosing consciously and paying attention to these indications when purchasing.
Why is Organic Cotton Superior for People and the Environment?
Discovering the Benefits of Organic Cotton
Benefits for the Environment:
- Reduced CO2 Emissions: Growing organic cotton demands less energy compared to conventional cotton production, significantly lowering CO2 emissions and aiding the battle against climate change.
- Lesser Water Usage: Compared to traditional cotton, organic cotton uses up to 90% less water, preserving our precious water resources and reducing pressure on local water bodies.
- Fewer Pesticides: Organic cotton farming skips the use of synthetic pesticides, protecting not only the soils and groundwater but also maintaining environmental biodiversity.
Benefits for the People:
- Fair Wages: Cultivating organic cotton often supports smaller agricultural communities and ensures that farmers receive fair wages for their labor.
- No GMOs: Organic cotton is grown without the use of genetic engineering, allowing people to opt for natural and unaltered products.
- Enhanced Skin Health: Clothing made from organic cotton is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, reducing the risk of skin irritations and allergies, making it particularly suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Overall, transitioning to organic cotton is not only a decision in favour of the environment but also in the interest of the people who wear and produce these garments. At Snocks, we try to take a sustainable approach and are proud to offer customers organic cotton products that are good for both people and the environment.
Comparison: Organic Cotton vs. Conventional Cotton
- Natural Fiber: As a pure natural fiber, organic cotton comes from organic farming, where no chemical pesticides or genetically modified plants are used.
- Sustainable Cultivation: The cultivation of organic cotton promotes soil fertility and reduces water consumption.
- Fiber Quality: The cotton fibers of organic cotton are often longer, softer, and less stressed by chemical
- Mass Production: Due to high demand, conventional cotton is produced in large quantities, often using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
- Shorter Fibers: The fibers of conventional cotton can often be shorter and weaker due to the use of chemicals.
- Environmental Impact: The cultivation of conventional cotton can lead to soil impoverishment and higher water consumption.
Pros & Cons:
- Better for the environment due to reduced chemical use.
- Promotion of biodiversity and healthier soils.
- Often softer and more comfortable fabric for textiles.
- Often higher costs for the end consumer.
- Cannot be produced as quickly in the quantities demanded by the fashion industry.
- Faster and mass production.
- Often cheaper to purchase.
- Harmful to the environment due to high pesticide use.
- Can have negative impacts on the health of cotton farmers and workers in textile factories.
- Not sustainable in the long term as it can lead to soil impoverishment and water scarcity.
The following products are made out of organic cotton:
- Boxershorts with Logo
- Boxershorts without Logo
- American Boxershorts
The following products are made out of organic cotton:
This is the case for all of our women's slips unless the listing states otherwise.
Nearly all of our socks are made out of organic cotton. Our top sellers are anke socks, crew socks and no-show socks.
Importance of Choosing Organic Cotton
Upholding Farmers and Ethical Principles
Your choice to invest in organic cotton articulates a powerful message in support of fair wages and principled farming practices. Farmers of organic cotton and organic farms adhere to protocols ensuring that workers receive fair compensation, thereby endorsing stable livelihoods and respectable working conditions.
Organisations like the Textile Exchange and the Organic Trade Association stand for these principles, securing a path from farm to fashion that is ethically sound, and making organic cotton better for our society and environment.
The Environmental Advantages
The environmental influence of organic cotton and organic fibres is significant, playing a crucial role in preserving vital natural resources. Unlike its traditional counterparts, the farming of organic cotton abstains from utilising toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds, thereby protecting ecosystems and nurturing healthy soils.
This approach, which avoids synthetic fertilisers and promotes the use of natural material, not only assists in sustaining soil fertility but also guarantees the sustainability and longevity of agricultural practices, making it one of the most sustainable fabrics.
The Far-Reaching Impact of Your Purchase
Your decision to buy organic cotton extends well beyond the shopping cart. It propels a movement towards sustainable fashion, shaping industry practices and gently pushing more brands towards environmentally responsible decisions.
Unlike conventionally grown cotton and non-organic farming practices, choosing organic supports a healthier planet and promotes the use of sustainable fabrics.
Challenges in Organic Cotton Production
Although there are many advantages to organic cotton, there are still some pain points in its production. The absence of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers often means that farmers have to grapple with alternative methods to protect crops from pests and ensure fertility of the soil.
Moreover, the initial transition from conventional to organic farming is not only more labor-intensive but also financially difficult for small-scale farmers due to the stringent certification processes and the period required for the soil to regain its natural fertility.
Market Dynamics and Consumer Awareness
From a market perspective, the demand-supply dynamics for organic cotton still wobble on a tightrope. While consumer awareness about sustainable practices is on the rise, the price discrepancy between organic and conventional cotton products sometimes sways the market toward the latter. Furthermore, complexities in the supply chain, owing to the stringent standards for organic cotton, can sometimes hamper timely production and distribution.
Snocks Sustainability Goal
At Snocks, our journey towards sustainability is perpetual, transparent, and inclusive, recognising that it is not a mere checklist but an ongoing voyage with evolving challenges. Our commitment is deeply rooted in avoiding overproduction, ensuring social sustainability through fair working conditions, utilising environmentally friendlier materials, and maintaining open communication about our sustainability endeavours.
We are proud of our strides, such as our predominant use of organic cotton and recycled polyester, yet we are candid about the challenges that lie ahead. Through a blend of certified ethical manufacturing, transparent communication, and a continuous pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint, we aim to foster a future where our business thrives symbiotically with our environment and communities.
In the face of these challenges, we are trying to be proactive in carving out innovative solutions. By maintaining transparent communication and pushing educational initiatives, we are trying to enhance consumer awareness about the intrinsic and extrinsic value of organic cotton, thereby gradually bridging the gap between cost and value.
Organic cotton brings a range of benefits, from safeguarding the environment to supporting ethical farming practices. Your choice in purchasing organic cotton extends support to farmers, ensures fair practices, and backs a sustainable future in fashion. Make a choice that aligns with values - explore, engage, and endorse organic cotton.
- Organic Cotton Defined: A natural fibre produced without using harmful chemicals, synthetic pesticides, or GMOs.
- Environmental Impact: Organic cotton conserves water, promotes soil health, and reduces carbon emissions by avoiding chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
- Health Implications: Offers a safer option for consumers, especially those with sensitive skin, by eliminating exposure to residues of toxic pesticides and chemicals.
- Supporting Ethical Practices: Purchasing organic cotton ensures support for fair wages and ethical working conditions in the farming sector.
- Quality of Fabric: Tends to have longer, softer, and more durable fibers, providing a superior, comfortable feel in clothing and textiles.
- Certifications Matter: Choosing certified organic cotton guarantees adherence to established standards and ethical practices throughout production.
- Consumer Impact: Your purchase of organic cotton products propels the industry towards more sustainable and ethical practices.
- Economic Ripple Effect: Supporting organic cotton helps in sustaining the livelihoods of farmers and workers involved in its production.
- Brand Choice: Opting for brands that utilise organic cotton aligns your purchasing power with environmental conservation and ethical practices.
Hey, I'm Bhav.
As the person responsible for Snocks' Amazon and updating the eco-friendly badges here, I would like to emphasise: Every product leaves a footprint on our planet. Even though we do our best to minimise these footprints, the final decision is yours: Only buy what you really need.
If you would like to learn more, feel free to check out my blog on sustainability. I hope this article has been of help to you!