We use 100% Certified Organic Cotton
What is Organic Cotton and why use it?
Cotton grown without the use of any synthetically compounded chemicals (like pesticides, growth regulators, defoliants etc) and fertilizers is called Organic Cotton. Organic Cotton production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. . The Global Organic Textiles Standard also prohibits genetically modified organisms (GMO's) and their derivatives.|
Organic Cotton is sustainable in that its production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, through crop rotation, hand weeding and other specific land management. There is also the fact that growing organic cotton reduces the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and builds a biologically diverse agriculture.
Origins of Organic Cotton
The Indus valley and South America saw its initial cultivation in 3000 BC and up until the 1950s, cotton production on a global scale occurred for the most part without the use of hazardous and toxic agrochemicals. Cotton pests were controlled by agricultural management and tillage practices for nearly 5000 years. Farmers took into consideration pest cycles before planting and at harvesting. Cotton was planted at lower densities and crop rotations were used to reduce the impact of pests.
It wasn't long after WWII that a number of newly discovered neurotoxic chemicals such as DDT were introduced as an alternative means of pest control. These new chemicals were much cheaper and were immediately effective, so cotton farmers began to use these and former methods of pest control were largely abandoned. Conventionally grown cotton became the most pesticide-dependant crop in the world, accounting for 25 per cent of the world's pesticides. This propelled the resurgence of interest in Organic Cotton.
Experts believe that non-organic cotton contains chemicals that could adversely affect consumers. The chemicals left in the cotton could potentially cause everything from allergic reactions to asthma to even cancer. Moreover, harsh chemically dyed cotton adds other potentially harmful chemicals to the mix, making non-organic cotton even more suspect and possibly harmful to use.
- Organic cotton is especially safe for people with allergies and chemical sensitivity, as well as for babies and children.
- Organic cotton has the added advantage of safeguarding the environment, water quality and the health of people who grow, manufacture and use it.
- Choosing organic cotton helps to support organic farmers as well as an entire industry. It also serves as motivation to conventional farmers who may be trying to convert to organic practices.
Consider these facts about ordinary cotton
Cotton is the world's most important non-food agricultural commodity, yet it is responsible for the release of $2 billion dollars of chemical pesticides each year, and of that at least $ 819 million are considered toxic enough to be classified as hazardous by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Cotton accounts for 16% of global insecticide releases more than any other single crop. It is estimated that approximately 4.486 pounds of hazardous pesticides is applied to every acre of cotton. That is more than double the amount of chemical pesticides used for an acre of corn.
1% - 3% of agricultural workers worldwide suffer from acute pesticide poisoning with at least one million requiring hospitalization each year, according to a report prepared jointly for the FAO, UNEP and WHO. These figures equate to between 25 million and 77 million agricultural workers worldwide.
In India, home to over one third of the world's cotton farmers, cotton accounts for 54% of all pesticides used annually, despite occupying just five per cent of land under crops.
Toxic agrochemicals first applied to cotton fifty years ago now pollute the land, air, food and drinking water in Uzbekistan, the world’s second largest cotton exporter.
How to Grow Organic Cotton?
Organic Cotton requires greater technical skills to cultivate, compared to cotton grown using synthetic fast acting fertilizers and insecticides. As seeds can not be treated with pesticides, Organic Cotton is particularly difficult to grow in areas vulnerable to soil-borne diseases. Organic Cotton farmers need to source organically grown cotton seed to start. In case certified organic seeds are not available, untreated and non-genetically modified seeds may be used.
Mineral nutrition of crops in organic systems comes from proper management of soil organisms that are responsible for releasing nutrients. Rather than feeding plants with fertilizer, organic farmers typically practice multiple cropping practices, crop rotation, cover cropping, animal manure additions, and the use of naturally occurring rock powders.
Weeds have to be removed manually or mechanically since chemical weed killers cannot be used. So they are controlled by a combination of cultivation, flame weeding, and other farming practices. A wide variety of insects attack cotton. Management options include trap cropping, strip cropping, and managing border vegetation to encourage high populations of native beneficials. Certain bio-pesticides using bacteria, viruses, and fungal insect pathogens are available as insect control tools.
Certification of Organic Cotton
Certification of organic cotton production adds credibility to the final product, assures the buyer of the organic status of the product and encourages payment of premium prices to farmers who engage in organic practices. When a grower or processor is certified organic, an independent organisation has verified that the company meets or exceeds defined organic standards. Certified organic farms are inspected regularly and must maintain comprehensive records of their production methods.
Certification programs and standards vary, especially in response to regional differences, although there are general underlying concepts. However, most Organic Cotton certifications ensure two basic facts. First, that all fibers must be natural and grown organically. Second, every step in the process of cotton production (spinning, weaving, washing, etc.) has to meet certain criteria of environmental responsibility.
Our organic cotton is grown in Texas and is Certified Organic by The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).