Organic cotton in the Baby Clothing Industry
What Makes Cotton Organic?
Organic cotton is generally defined as cotton that is grown organically in subtropical countries such as India, Turkey, China, and parts of the USA from non-genetically modified plants, and without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides aside from the ones allowed by the certified organic labeling. Its production is supposed to promote and enhance biodiversity and biological cycles.
Conventional Cotton Production vs. Organic Cotton Production
Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land but uses 10-16% of the world's pesticides, more than any other single major crop. Environmental consequences of the elevated use of chemicals in the non-organic cotton growing methods include the following: Chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the air and surface waters. Decreased biodiversity and shifting equilibrium of ecosystems due to the use of pesticides. As is the case for any comparison between organic and "conventional" crops, care must be taken to standardize by yield rather than land area. Like many crops, yields (per hectare) in organic cotton farms are typically significantly lower compared to conventional methods; this yield gap means that the water used to produce the same amount of cotton fiber can in fact be higher in organic, compared to conventional cotton cultivation.
If certified by the governing bodies, organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. However, organic growers are able to use a suite of organically approved pesticides, including pyrethrins from plant material, copper sulfate as a molluscicide and fungicide, and a range of insecticidal soaps, among others. Application rates of organic pesticides can often exceed those in conventional cultivation systems due in part to the large yield deficits in organic cropping systems, and organic pesticides can be at least as toxic as their conventional counterparts. By comparison, conventional cotton can be grown using a range of synthetic pesticides. Fields converted from conventional use to organic cotton must be tested to assure no residual pesticide with a transition period of 2–3 years in this process. In some cases, companies have taken to testing for pesticide residual of fiber or fabric themselves to assure cheating does not occur on the part of the farmers or farm coops. Use of insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and water have all declined in conventional systems as a direct result of the widespread adoption of genetically modified cotton, which currently accounts for over 95% of cotton grown in the U.S., India and China. Organic certification prohibits use of genetically modified (GM) varieties.
The Bottom Line
All in all, it is safe to say that choosing organic cotton products are much eco-friendlier than opting for traditional cotton. The reason that over 95% of cotton production is happening through conventional cotton farming practices is that there is still vast demand for traditional cotton mostly because it is cheaper than the organic cotton. Moreover, swapping from traditional cotton farming to organic cotton farming takes time and resources. If we consider the future and want to protect our lands and provide safe, clean chemical-free clothing to our customers it is worth the extra resources and capital. We have to encourage farmers to switch to organic cotton farming for a brighter future.
Bibaby and Organic Cotton
We are proud distributors of a rich collection of organic cotton baby clothing and other textile items. We want to prove that organic cotton is not a luxury item hoping that it will rise customers’ and other businesses’ demand for organic cotton. Our organic cotton collections are affordable and fulfills every customer’s demands for style, design and quality.