A growing number of cotton items are available in the marketplace, and they can be found across a wide range of product categories. In the last decade, we've seen an increase in the number of products that are marketed as being manufactured from organic cotton. Why organic cotton? What does organic cotton mean? What is GOTS certified organic cotton? Where is organic cotton grown? These are some of the most frequently asked questions about organic cotton. We will try to provide a detailed answer to all of them.
What is the difference between cotton and organic cotton, given that it is a natural fiber? Let’s find out in this article what is the difference between organic cotton and regular cotton.
What Is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is, in some ways, synonymous with environmental responsibility & Sustainability. Farmers that grow organic cotton are creating a more sustainable product in terms of the viability of their fields, the availability of water, and the quality of the air they breathe. Farmers that practice organic cotton farming restrict their usage of pesticides and are only permitted to use natural fertilizers; no synthetic fertilizers are permitted. Furthermore, farming operations use only natural seed, rather than genetically altered types, in their operations.
Manufacturers who want to promote their products as organic must undergo a rigorous supply chain verification process conducted by third-party organizations, both public and private.
On the other hand, traditional cotton growers have a whole toolkit at their disposal, including insecticides to fend off pests and synthetic fertilizers to increase production per acre of land planted. Aside from that, cotton growers that use conventional methods use genetically modified seed that has been developed to kill herbs, and it is also insect resistant.
What is GOTS certified organic cotton? (GOTS Stands for Global Organic Textiles Standard) Organic cotton that has been GOTS certified signifies that your product has been properly sourced and is being closely monitored throughout the manufacturing process.
How is Organic Cotton Made?
There are various steps in the process of making organic cotton products. These comprise the following stages:
- Cotton cultivation
- Cotton ginning
- Cotton spinning, Weaving / Knitting the cotton to Fabric
- Cotton Dyeing & Processing
- Finishing Process
1. Growing Cotton Crops
The process of growing organic cotton begins in the lush green fields of tropical environments. Organic cotton is mostly farmed in 25+ countries, with Turkey being the leading producer of the crop. India, Tanzania, China, Peru, Senegal, and a number of other countries are also represented.
Planting the cotton seed is the initial step in the production process. The cotton plant grows as a result of the rain, and once the cotton plant has reached maturity, cotton farmers will harvest the cotton by hand. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers during the entire process of production and growth. On the other hand, farmers utilize a rich compost and manually eliminate the pests.
The cotton ginning process is a generic phrase that refers to the entire process of effectively turning cotton bolls into fibres, from harvesting to processing.
The cotton bolls are harvested and transported directly to the ginning facility by trucks. A ginning machine separates the cotton fibres from the seedpods at this point, and the cotton is fed into it. This is done in order to efficiently remove any dirt, stems, leaves, and linters that may have accumulated. Cottonseed oil is produced following completion of the cleaning and separating step of the process, while the linters and cotton are utilized in the production of paper and plastics, respectively. The cotton is now referred to as "lint cotton" due to the fact that it has been separated from the seed.
3. Cotton Spinning & Weaving / Knitting
The cotton spinning process is a word that is used to describe the process in which cotton fibres run through a carding machine that separates the fibres to create yarn, which is then ready to be woven or knitted when it has been finished spinning.
As part of this procedure, the cotton is subjected to a thorough cleaning procedure. After that, the fibres are combed by a variety of machines before being spun into soft textured yarn. Once the cotton has been converted into soft yarns, these yarns can be either weaved or knitted to make a piece of fabric that is called greige fabric. This fabric is further made useable by processing it into fabric of various colors and prints to suit the intended end use.
4. Dyeing & Processing
One of the most pressing issues facing those involved in the production of organic textiles is the issue of water waste and the use of harmful chemicals in the dyeing procedure.
In organic certified facilities, on the other hand, only natural colors are utilized. This indicates that the dyes' colors are derived from natural materials such as plants and minerals. The land is required to cultivate natural colors, with indigo, onion shells, and turmeric being the most common of the components available for use today. It is one of many reasons why natural dyes are used less frequently than popular synthetic dyes. Natural dyes lack the vibrancy of synthetic dyes, which is one of the many reasons for this. After the cotton has been dyed & processed, it is transferred to the finishing factory for production.
5.Final Finishing Process
Once the cotton has been processed and dyed, it is ready for the next stage of the process, which is the fabrication of the actual Product / Garment. Each procedure in Product Production requires employees to labor long hours for completion. At this point, the design teams are extensively involved and consult with the workers on things like sizes, cuts, and color schemes. The workers next cut the produced cotton material into the desired designs and patch everything together using industrial sewing machines to complete the process of manufacturing.
6. Sales & Distribution
It is only after such a rigorous process the cotton has to undergo to become suitable enough to be sole and distributed for end use. From the Cultivation to the final finishing, cotton embraces a lot of change to become into a product that is suitable for end use for a consumer.
Benefits of Organic Cotton
Wearing organic cotton clothes has the following additional advantages:
1. This product is environmentally Sustainable & Bio Degradable
It's a product of a sustainable farming approach. Reduced fuel and energy usage in organic cotton production results in lower carbon emissions. Because it is produced without the use of chemicals, it reduces water pollution. No risk is posed to the health of the farm workers. As the last point, the use of excessive fertilizers and pesticides harms the ecosystem in a permanent way.
It also requires far less water to grow, as organic cotton growers rely on rain rather than irrigation to achieve their results. Organic cotton producers also utilize helpful insects to combat undesired pests rather than hazardous pesticides, which helps to conserve biodiversity in the environment. It's a win-win situation for both people and the nature.
2. Safety Regulations
As a result of higher production norms, organic clothing goods are safer to wear. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, adherence to strong ethical standards like FLO International and other worldwide organic cotton advocacy organizations also ensure that customers receive a high level of consumer value.
3.Reduced Cost of Production
It's less expensive to make since it doesn't use any harmful or poisonous chemicals and because it grows only natural cotton seeds rather than processed ones. When it comes to making non-organic cotton resistant to pests and diseases, BT (genetically modified seeds) are more expensive and require the use of pesticides. Farming expenses are further pushed up by the absence of chemicals, which necessitates the use of storage facilities.
4.Allergies and skin concerns can be avoided as much as possible.
Allergy sufferers and those with chemical sensitivities would benefit considerably from the use of organic cotton because there are no chemical retentions. Even if you don't have allergies or chemical sensitivity, it feels great on your skin. Various skin allergies have also been linked to the use of pesticides, which have been well documented. Many people who have skin problems have reported significant improvements in their skin condition after switching to organic products.
5. A better sense of well-being
Cotton growers and purchasers alike can benefit from better emotional and mental wellness in addition to less skin sensitivities. Stress caused by skin problems and possibly debt from medical or hospital expenses can contribute to mental and emotional stress...
6. Prevents Long-term Risks or Even Casualties
Mishandling of chemicals and fertilizers, particularly in developing nations, has resulted in accidents, severe bodily damage, and even deaths among farmers and laborers. Cotton that is grown organically is free of such hazards.
7. Ensures that everyone becomes a good citizen.A consumer's purchase of organic cotton helps him or her become a more responsible citizen who is conscious of everyone's role in maintaining a sustainable environment. Every user of organic cotton will be reminded of the long-term benefits of going natural.
It is impossible to quantify the value of organic cotton in terms of quantity or cash. It seems reasonable to believe that using organic products will keep you secure and comfortable.
How does organic cotton differ from conventional cotton?
Organic cotton is superior to ordinary cotton in every way. It's difficult to go back to conventional cotton after using organic cotton items. Organic cotton's advantages go beyond the quality of its goods. To learn more about the numerous advantages of organic cotton, continue reading.
The Cotton's Quality
In order to determine the purity of cotton fibbers, one looks at how the cotton is harvested. Cotton can either be harvested by hand or by machine, depending on the method used. Each and every fibre of organic cotton is chosen, guaranteeing that no fibre is destroyed throughout the process. Machine-picked cotton, which is more plentiful and in greater demand, is used to keep up with demand. Cotton fibres are damaged during the picking process, reducing the quality and increasing the amount of waste. Because of the longer fibres, organic cotton goods are softer than ordinary cotton. These fibres don't get weakened or damaged since they're selected, resulting in softer and longer-lasting items as a result.
Crop Production in Cotton
GMO seeds are used in conventional cotton growing. These seeds are genetically tweaked to make them more resistant to bugs, but as the bugs get more ferocious, the need for additional pesticides increases. Cotton grown without the use of pesticides or other hazardous chemicals is known as organic cotton. Insects that prey on pests are used to keep them under control. Organic cotton goods, on the other hand, are gentler on the skin.
In the long run, this degrades the quality of the soil, eliminating nutrients and resulting in ill crops when cotton is planted on the same soil again. Because they demand more water, these crops are over-irrigated, resulting in unnecessary waste. Organic cotton is grown on rotating plots of land, and the minerals in the soil hold water for longer, reducing the need for watering. As a result, the crops benefit.
Cotton grown conventionally has "earned" the distinction of being the worst crop on the planet. Insecticides account for 16 percent of global insecticide use, and pesticides account for $2 billion in annual expenditure. When cotton is grown, the soil that we use to produce crops, as well as our breathing air and drinking water, are contaminated by pesticides and insecticides used in cotton cultivation. Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed as a result of their exposure to these toxins.
Organic cotton is cultivated without the use of toxic pesticides, resulting in soil, air, and water that are free of contaminants that are damaging to the environment. When compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton emits around 46 percent less carbon dioxide.
Herbicides, which are chemicals that kill weeds, are also used in the standard cotton farming weeding procedure. In addition to harming crops and soil moisture and minerals, the use of hazardous pesticides also harms farmers. Cotton accounts for more than a quarter of all insecticides used in agriculture. Insecticides and carcinogens are among them. Farmers who use these pesticides on a regular basis are at risk of developing significant illnesses, as well as affecting the surrounding ecosystem. Weeding is done manually, hoeing, and various cultivation methods in organic cotton production.
Every year, according to estimates from international groups, thousands of people exposed to the harmful chemicals used in non-organic cotton farming die of cancer, poisoning, and miscarriages. Many others are affected by birth abnormalities as well as other disorders such as asthma. It is largely developing nations, such as India and Uzbekistan, that are suffering the consequences of exposure to these harmful substances.
There are a lot of chemicals involved in the processing of ordinary cotton. Chlorine and chemical dyes, heavy metals, and other toxic compounds are not uncommon in routine cotton production. Chemical residues linger in final items even after they have been washed, and they can trigger severe allergic reactions. Many people get eczema as a result of using cotton items on a daily basis. Chemical dyes and whiteners are not used in the production of organic cotton. The completed items are made using natural or water-based colors, peroxide for whitening, and other safer chemicals.
The global use of non-organic cotton contributes to the emission of massive volumes of greenhouse gases into our environment, amounting to around 220 million tons per year. Conventional cotton fibre generates 1.8 tons of CO2 equivalent for every ton of fibre. The harm done to us and the environment as a result of the production of non-organic cotton is vast & huge, and it represents a serious threat to both us and our world.
Organic cotton is softer, non-allergen, and more durable than conventional cotton. Protecting the ecology, decreasing water waste, and promoting a safer working environment for farmers and industry are the most significant advantages. Regular cotton can be replaced with organic cotton as a more environmentally friendly and long-lasting fabric. For yourself, give it a whirl.
GOTS Certification for Organic Products
Certifications are evidence that tells you what you may anticipate from a particular product or service. It is a quality and superiority standard that ensures a particular degree of quality and excellence. Despite the fact that each certification is proof of quality in and of itself, not all certificates are created equal and have the same face value.
When looking for bedding, you might be looking for one that is "organic," but what exactly does that mean? Nobody has a copyright on the organic word, and it is simple for any firm to use the terms "organic" and "sustainable" to describe products that contain only a few elements that are not derived from sustainable sources.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether organic textiles companies that claim to sell organic cotton are legitimate these days. In contrast to food, textile goods can be certified as organic through a variety of certificate programs, although many of these programs do not ensure that the item is organic from beginning to end.
It is very simple for companies to get away with greenwashing when they use a sloppy mark of certification. As you can see, a buyer might be readily misled into believing misleading statements. One of the most common sources of concern among the public is the existence of companies that attempt to mislead clients by making bogus organic-related promises.
Therefore, some things labeled as "organic" may only contain a small percentage of natural fibbers in the finished product despite being classified as such. It might also signify that the fibre was sourced from organic farming but that the colors utilized in the item were potentially harmful.
In order to verify the quality of organic textiles and fibbers, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is used around the world. It is backed by an independent third-party certification that verifies the whole supply chain.
The standard aims to determine and verify the accepted standards for ensuring organic status – from the procurement of raw materials to the development of a responsible production process that shows confidence to consumers and distributors.
If you come across any items that have been GOTS certified, you can be certain that the products are created from top-quality organic components that are both safe and environmentally beneficial.
This includes the seeds that are used to develop the cotton, the harvesting technique, the use of raw materials, and ensuring that the items are created in an ethical manner and adhere to the labeling requirements of the product. This is done in order to provide the consumer with a product guarantee that is trustworthy and credible.
The Organic Factor and Organic Cotton Products
Organic fibers are in great demand across the world these days, as people become more conscious of the dangers of certain chemicals in their environment. In some cases, some compounds have the potential to cause serious harm to both health and the environment.
The Organic Factor develops and distributes environmentally friendly items to its customers.
A global standard for the manufacturing of organic textiles, known as the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), has been established. Each and every one of the company's products are produced in accordance with GOTS standards. It is part of their dedication to doing so that they employ recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging that complements our products.
The company produces a wide range of products with organic cotton. A comprehensive variety of 400 thread count GOTS certified organic cotton sheets and duvet covers are available in all common American sizes, as well as three distinct colors to pick from. The sheets are produced from Extra Long Staple Cotton in a carefully designed weave, and the lifetime of the sheets has been significantly extended as a result of this.
- Twin Xl
- California King
- Twin / Twin XL
- Queen / Full
- King / California King
- Standard pillowcase
- King Pillow Cover
- Body pillowcase
Organic cotton is preferable to conventional cotton since it is significantly more environmentally friendly. It is produced without the use of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides, therefore safeguarding local environments as well as the farmers that cultivate it. It also consumes less water, protects soil quality, and prevents soil erosion, among other benefits.
Organic cotton clothes are significantly better for sensitive skin than ordinary cotton clothing since it is not treated with the dangerous chemicals that are required to cultivate and manufacture conventional cotton. Additionally, GOTS assures sustainable and ethical practices from field to garment, so you can be confident that your garments do not contain anything they shouldn't. Clothing made of certified organic cotton is consequently far better for your skin, and it is particularly ideal for little children and newborns. Organic cotton is far more ethical than non-organic cotton, which is one of the primary reasons it is superior. It guarantees that farmers receive a fair income, that forced or child labor is prohibited, and that ethical working conditions are maintained.
When you buy organic cotton products from a company like The Organic Factor, you are paving the way for a sustainable future. You are helping in protecting the environment and also ensuring that the farmers are paid a fair price.