Cotton is the most commonly used fabric on earth, accounting for over half of the world’s fiber needs.
There’s a reason for using organic cotton in our fabric blends here at TWENTY INFINITY. Organic cotton is an important element in our uber-soft and durable underwear. So when you’re wearing our T-shirts, you can be confident that you’re taking care of both yourself and the environment.
Organic cotton plays an important role in our super durable and extremely comfortable styles. It lends a softness and breathability that only improves everything that hemp fiber brings to the table. So why use organic cotton vs regular cotton? Let’s break down the difference between the two.
FIRST, WHAT IS ORGANIC COTTON?
It’s pretty simple: organic cotton is grown organically, meaning the cotton plants are not genetically modified, and no harmful pesticides or fertilizers are used in the process.
What is organic cotton good for? Well, it can be used for anything from clothing and coffee filters to bedding and curtains. Basically, you can use organic cotton instead of regular cotton in just about any instance.
In the comparison of organic cotton vs conventional cotton, organic cotton is better for you and I (and the environment!) for a few big reasons. Keep reading to learn the shocking truth about regular cotton, and what sets organic cotton apart.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORGANIC COTTON VS COTTON
GROWING COTTON USES MORE WATER THAN ORGANIC COTTON
Making a t-shirt from regular cotton takes 2,168 gallons of water. A t-shirt made from organic cotton uses just 186 gallons of water. This jaw-dropping figure from Textile Exchange isn’t the only impact of regular cotton vs organic cotton on water usage.
There are two main options to water cotton plants: by rainfall or irrigation.
According to Textile Exchange, 80% of organic cotton is watered using rainfall. Using rainfall means precious water sources don’t need to be diverted to cotton farming. On the other hand, the extensive irrigation used to grow most regular cotton depletes groundwater and creates harmful runoff due to the next item on this list.
ORGANIC COTTON DOESN'T USE PESTICIDES LIKE REGULAR COTTON DOES
Conventional cotton uses more than 25 percent of the pesticides used in farming around the world. These pesticides wreak havoc on the environment by entering the water through runoff. The water is soaked up by plants and ingested by wildlife, threatening biodiversity and the natural environment.
Pesticides are also terrible for humans, both those that come into contact with affected water and especially those that work with the substance directly. It’s called occupational pesticide exposure, and it’s been linked to:
Various forms of cancer
When comparing organic cotton vs cotton in regards to pesticide use, organic cotton is eons better for the earth. Organic cotton farmers don’t use any pesticides. They use native insects that eat the smaller bugs threatening to destroy organic cotton, and the region remains biodiverse with a balance of insect life.
ORGANIC COTTON FARMING PROVIDES A SAFE ENVIRONMENT, CONVENTIONAL COTTON CAN KILL
Organic cotton is handpicked, without the use of machinery, chemicals, or defoliants. Handpicking reduces waste in the farming process and is totally safe for workers. As an added bonus, handpicking allows for better protection of the cotton fibers.
On the other hand, the work environment within the conventional cotton industry is extremely harmful to workers for two reasons:
Regular cotton is picked with machinery and treated with toxic chemicals that can harm workers greatly (think back to occupational pesticide exposure and all the nasty side effects that come with it).
The conventional cotton industry has been linked to a heartbreaking trend of suicide amongst farmers. The tough competition and decreasing prices in the cotton industry are driving cotton workers to labor for long hours and still not achieve good profit. In India alone, more than 270,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide since 1995.
The difficulties cotton farmers face around the world is a startling reminder that the clothes that you and I buy are grown and made by people just like us. Wouldn’t you rather use goods made organically, without harming the environment or the humans producing them?
ORGANIC COTTON PRODUCES HIGHER QUALITY AND STRONGER YARN THAN REGULAR COTTON
Handpicked cotton fibers make for something called “long staple cotton,” fibers that are longer and stronger than those picked with machines. Industrial cotton machinery is pretty rough with the raw fibers, often breaking and weakening them before they’re even processed into clothes.
The difference in quality between handpicked and machine-picked cotton is worlds apart. Where handpicked organic fibers are naturally soft to the touch while maintaining a strong fiber, machine-picked conventional cotton fibers are weaker, broken down from chemicals, and not nearly as soft to the touch or as reliable in durability. Invest in organic cotton and you’ll have clothing that will last far beyond the days of conventional cotton.