What is organic cotton?
Organic cotton fibre is a natural fibre from thé well-known cotton plant. This cotton plant can be grown once or twice a year, reaching about 1.2 metres in height. It takes about 5-6 months from planting to harvesting. The flower bulbs appear a few weeks after the plant peaks through the soil and find the sun. The flowers will bloom a few weeks later. After pollination, the flowers disappear, which leaves ripening seed pods that take a while to mature into cotton bolls. These bolls are very fluffy and act as a protector for the cotton seed inside.
The “organic” in organic cotton already suggests: organic cotton crops are grown without any chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides.
Why do we use organic cotton?
The biggest reason we choose organic cotton over conventional is that it’s grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides. Conventional cotton farming accounts for a significant share of total insecticides and herbicides used globally! Pesticides pollute soil and water, disrupting ecosystems and harming wildlife. Organic farming keeps the work environment healthy for the workers and the drinking water clean for local communities. Instead of pesticides, organic cotton farmers use natural pest controls like soil balance, natural insect predators and trap crops. Go nature!
The main focus of organic farming is soil health; the healthier the soil, the healthier the plants. Organic farming is about creating a balanced ecosystem. Healthy soil also helps lower the water footprint. Healthy soil keeps rainwater longer in the top ground layers, close to the roots. Reducing the need for irrigation and decreasing the negative water footprint of cotton!
Organic farmers only use non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds. GMO means that the genetics of the seed are tempered with, to create likeable features in the crop, such as resistance to certain pests or fibre length. Because of these genetic modifications, the insects and pests can become stronger, which requires even heavier pesticides to keep them away. These GMO seeds and pesticides are also more expensive, putting financial pressure on farmers. The solution is not in genetically modified plants; it’s in organically grown plants that are in balance with nature.
How do we guarantee the cotton we use is organic?
All the cotton we use is either GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or OCS (Organic Content Standard) certified.
GOTS is a global textile standard for organic fibres that assesses other ecological and social criteria as well. The standard aims to ensure organic standards. This is done from farming, through the manufacturing process, to the labelling, proven by a chain of custody. A chain of custody is a system in which each transaction is confirmed with a transaction certificate. This certificate confirms the seller has lived up to the certification rules for the particular product. A new transaction certificate is only possible if you have one from the transaction before. This makes GOTS a credible global certificate to the consumer, from materials to the end product.
The Organic Content Standard (OCS) certification is, like the GOTS certification, an international standard with set requirements for third-party certification of organic cotton. We use OCS-certified fabrics to ensure the cotton fibres' origin is organic.