Cotton is the world’s most popular natural fibre. Cotton is found in products such as clothing, bedding, and towels. However, not all cotton is equal. Lately, there’s been an increasing interest in natural and organic cotton, and there’s some confusion about whether these two are the same. Folks today are becoming more aware and want to make better choices. So, let’s look at the differences between organic and natural cotton and, ultimately, the advantages of using organic cotton.
How is Cotton Made?
Cotton is a plant that is grown in warm climates around the world. In the right conditions, it grows prolifically and produces cotton abundantly. Harvesting consists of picking the cotton bolls from the plants from which the cotton fibres are processed. However, how cotton is grown and processed can significantly affect the environment and the people involved in its production.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or other toxic chemicals. Instead, organic cotton farmers use natural methods to control pests and maintain soil health, such as crop rotation and composting. Furthermore, organic cotton is harvested by hand rather than machine, reducing the risk of damage to the cotton fibres.
Benefits of Organic Cotton
Organic cotton has several benefits over conventionally grown cotton. First, it is better for the environment. By avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, organic cotton farming reduces the chemicals released into the soil and water supplies. Moreover, organic cotton farming promotes soil health and biodiversity and aims to affect local ecosystems positively. Second, organic cotton is better for the people involved in its production. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can be harmful to farmers and their families, as well as to the workers who process the cotton. Finally, organic cotton is better for the consumer. Because it is grown without harmful chemicals, organic cotton is less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Plus, it is often softer and more durable than conventionally grown cotton.
What is Natural Cotton?
Ok, what about natural cotton? Well, natural cotton that’s grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers may still be processed using chemicals. For example, some cotton crops are sprayed with a chemical defoliant just before picking. This treatment wilts the leaves and makes it easier to harvest the cotton boll. However, this defoliant can also soak into the cotton fibres. In addition, other chemicals may be used during manufacturing to improve the fibres.
So, while natural cotton is still a better choice than conventionally grown cotton, it differs from organic cotton. Essentially, organic cotton is grown and processed without harmful chemicals, while natural cotton may still be exposed to some chemicals during processing and manufacturing.