Organic cotton and its benefits over conventional cotton

Cotton, organic or conventional, is a natural fibre that has been used for centuries to make all kinds of clothing.

The popularity of "white gold" in the textile sector is due to its lightness, breathability and high dye absorbency, properties that other natural or synthetic fibres do not have.

Undoubtedly, the profitability of marketing cotton (especially in denim) is very high, as evidenced by the fact that more than 20% of textile companies worldwide use cotton as their main raw material.

However, it should be remembered that the cotton used by these companies is not organic, but one produced in a way that is unethical towards the environment and, in many cases, towards the workers in the cotton plantations and factories.

For this reason, organic cotton is presented as a real and sustainable alternative to traditional or conventional cotton, both for its properties (even better than those of conventional cotton) and for its responsible and ethical production.

At Bustins Jeans, as a sustainable denim fashion brand, we are more than convinced of the advantages of organic cotton when it comes to handcrafting our women's denim and men's denim.

Banner with 20% discount on denim clothing

Conventional cotton and the consequences of its production

Conventional cotton is still a natural fibre, so it is not derived from petroleum, does not generate plastic waste and has a fairly acceptable degradation time.

However, the negative consequences of conventional cotton production stem from its intensive and localised cultivation, the use of pesticides and other chemicals, the use of genetically modified seeds, and especially the use of enormous amounts of water.

With regard to the latter, if we take into account that, with the exception of the United States, the main cotton-producing countries are developing countries where access to drinking water is very limited, the social impact of cotton production is unquestionable.

The advantages of organic cotton over conventional cotton

The advantages of organic cotton over conventional cotton are numerous, not only in terms of quality, but also in all aspects surrounding its production, from the seed to the final sale of the garments.

The responsible cultivation of organic cotton

Conventional cotton is grown intensively on the same land, which reduces the amount of nutrients in the soil and increases the need for fertilisers.

In addition, the fibres are born weaker, so they require more water to reach an acceptable quality for subsequent harvesting and processing.

Organic cotton, on the other hand, is planted on different plots of land on a rotational basis (fallow). In this way, the soil "rests" and can recover its nutrients, thus reducing the need for fertiliser and water, and producing organic cotton of higher quality than conventional cotton.

The responsible cultivation of organic cotton

Non-GM seeds

In the agri-food sector, it is common to use modified seeds to make plants more resistant to pests and pesticides. However, this is an unethical practice.

Organic cotton seeds are not genetically modified, and no pesticides are used to protect against pests.

Instead, other insect control methods are used, such as other insects that kill them but do not damage organic cotton plants.

Organic cotton production does not use polluting chemicals

Conventional cotton production uses polluting chemicals for planting and plant growth, as well as heavy metals to make dyes.

In contrast, organic cotton production uses substitutes for chemical dyes and bleaches. For example, peroxide is widely used for bleaching organic cotton fibres.

Purity level of organic cotton

Organic cotton is harvested entirely by hand. This way of harvesting preserves the purity of each fibre, as they suffer less damage during the process.

Due to the higher quality (and length) of its fibres, organic cotton is much softer and more durable than conventional cotton, whose fibres tend to deteriorate more when picked by machinery.

Ethical working conditions

Four of the world's leading cotton producers are developing countries, in descending order of tonnage/year, India, China, Brazil and Pakistan (the fifth country, as mentioned above, is the United States, whose annual production places it in the middle of the table).

Unfortunately, working conditions in the first four are presumably not the best, so that the production of conventional cotton (as well as other raw materials) is done without respecting basic workers' rights: salary, holidays, safety, hygiene, health coverage, etc.

In fact, there are many cases of labour exploitation (including child labour) that have come to light in recent years, cases related to the production of cotton for big brands that we are all familiar with.

For its part, organic cotton production ensures fair working conditions that meet international standards.

Organic cotton fibres

Initiatives in favour of organic cotton

In order to alleviate the harmful consequences of traditional cotton production, initiatives have emerged for the conservation of the environment and for the improvement of working conditions in cotton production plants.

Two of these initiatives are the OCS (Organic Content Standard) and the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), which, although with different evaluation criteria, are responsible for verifying aspects related to the natural quality of the cotton, the means of production, logistics and working conditions, among others.

Organic cotton, the raw material of slow fashion

Its excellent properties, together with its ethical production, make organic cotton the raw material par excellence of slow fashion, an approach opposed to the fast fashion of brands that use conventional cotton to make garments that will end up in the rubbish after just a few uses.

Thanks to organic cotton, we can make women's jeans, men's jeans and any denim garment with more quality, more durable and more responsible.

For this reason, at Bustins Jeans we always turn to national organic cotton producers, thus ensuring the origin of this fabric and the ethical conditions in which it has been produced.

It is true that it would be more profitable to make garments with conventional cotton. But we don't want to compete with the big fashion brands that make more profit with unethical or unethical practices.

Rather, we want to be the denim fashion brand that our planet needs.

See Denim Clothing

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.