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Organic Cotton: How Sustainable is it?

by Mitch Borger

With a global population that is becoming increasingly conscious of the impact of their buying habits, many have become more aware of the environmental benefits of buying organic cotton. At Purnaa, we believe the individual has the power to change the environmental and social progression of their society through their purchasing decisions.

We would like to see organic and sustainable apparel become the new norm.

Organic: What Does it Mean?

The term ‘Organic’ refers to crops that are grown without the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. Organic cotton is grown and farmed in a way that has a low impact on the environment, much lower than conventional cotton which is the type of cotton most of us are used to wearing and buying.The production systems used for organic cotton maintain and replenish soil fertility without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers. Third-party certification organizations verify that the cotton is grown and produced using only the methods that are authorized for organic production.

What are the negatives to using non-organic (conventional) cotton?

Conventional cotton uses approximately 20% of the world’s insecticides and it takes around 20,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of cotton. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers and is 80% rain water fed.

According to Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in India, there have been dire social impacts on Indian farmers who grow conventional cotton. They report farmers suffering from severe health issues, both physical and mental. There’s a great deal of pressure on Indian cotton farmers regarding the success of their crop, the continual use of pesticides can result in bankruptcy which has been attributed to the increased suicide rates amongst Indian farmers.

What organic cotton products does Purnaa offer?

Purnaa’s new Custom Print Range includes organic cotton t-shirts, bags and hats. The fabric that we use is certified by the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS). GOTS is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental and social compliance criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain. If you’re conscious about the environment as well as your health then consider making organic cotton clothing a staple part of your wardrobe.

If you would like to develop a product made from organic, sustainable materials and become a Purnaa production partner then please fill out our ‘Get Started’ form.

We need to take care of our planet as there’s no planet B.


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