The biggest impact lies in the fact that organic cotton is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. While only covering 2,5% of our agricultural lands, conventional cotton accounts for 16% of all the insecticides and 6,8% of all herbicides worldwide. Pesticides pollute soil and water, disrupting ecosystems and killing wildlife. It also keeps the work environment healthy for the workers and the drinking water clean for local communities. Instead of pesticides, organic cotton uses natural pest controls like soil balance, natural (insect) predators and trap crops. Go nature!
Organic farming focusses mainly on soil health. To keep a healthy crop rotation, intercropping and compost is used. The healthier the soil, the healthier the plants. It also helps to manage possible pests, together with the use of beneficial (predator) insects. Organic farming is about creating a balanced ecosystem. Healthy soil also helps lowering the water footprint. It holds water longer in the top layers of the ground easy for the roots to find. This means that rainwater is used more efficiently and there is less need for irrigation with ground water. Thus decreasing the negative water footprint of cotton!
Organic cotton only uses GMO-free (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds. GMO means that the genetics of the seed are tempered with to create likable features in the crop, such as resistance to certain pests. This sounds nice, but does come with a big downside. The GMO-seeds are crazy expensive and highly dependent on expensive pesticides as well, putting a lot of farmers in debts. By using GMO-free seeds farmers keep control over their own businesses and don’t have to buy over-expensive seeds that rely on pesticides to grow. Organic practices give power back to the farmer!