Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on our environment. It is manufactured without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. This allows farmers to grow food and keep animals instead of being reliant on costly chemicals and fertilisers. They receive more for their crop and input cost are lower.
How we contribute to the different ecosystems include:
- Protecting surface and groundwater quality
- Reduced risk in insect and disease control by replacing insecticides with manipulation of ecosystems
- Long term prevention of pests though beneficial habitat planting
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Elimination of toxic chemicals used in cotton
- Organically grown crops yield soils with higher organic matter content
Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet uses 16-25% of the world's insecticides, more than any other single major crop
Other environmental consequences of the elevated use of chemicals in the non organic cotton growing methods consist of:
- High levels of agrochemicals are used in the production of non-organic, conventional cotton. Cotton production uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop and accounts in total for 10-16% of the world's pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants)
- Chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the air and surface waters.
- Residual chemicals may irritate consumers' skin.
- Decreased biodiversity and shifting equilibrium of ecosystems due to the use of pesticide