There Are Only Good Reasons to Buy Organic Cotton Fabric
You might ask yourself: Why should I buy sustainable fabric when there are cheaper alternatives on the market? The reasons are manifold and will directly contribute to the top and bottom line of your business.
First of all, traditional cotton is a main contributor of all pesticides sold around the globe and contains toxic material, which poses potential health risks to your customers. Sustainable cotton, on the other hand, not only contributes to a greener planet, but also reinvents the global cotton supply chain to give cotton farmers a fair share.
Last but not least, sustainable cotton creates high-quality textiles and is a valuable marketing asset to boost your brand value and reputation.
What is Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton mainly refers to the sustainable production methods used to grow cotton.
This kind of cotton is grown in subtropical countries without dangerous fertilisers or pesticides. Pesticides are reduced to a minimum while fertilisers are completely natural. Therefore, growing organic cotton is a highly sustainable process. As a direct result, cotton farmers have healthier fields, water supplies and are able to preserve their resources.
But this is only one part, which makes the difference. Another important difference is that organic cotton only uses natural seeds, while genetically modified seeds are used for traditional cotton.
As you can see, the term “organic” is much more than a simple buzzword. If manufacturers want to market their products as “organic”, for instance with the US or EU seal, they have to go through a detailed verification process, as the entire supply chain needs to be scrutinised. The organic seal has to be renewed on a regular basis.
Sustainable Cotton Safeguards the Planet
Did you know that about 30% of all pesticides sold around the world are used for the cultivation of traditional cotton? These chemicals are not only very harmful to our planet, but also to humans. For instance, they can cause allergies, which in turn will hamper your reputation and sales figures.
The cultivation of organic cotton, on the other hand, offers multiple benefits from an environmental perspective. It reduces GHG emissions by 46%, irrigation water consumption by 91% and primary energy consumption by 62%. It also diminishes the formation of algae resulting from excessive amounts of nutrients in waterways and canals by 26%.
Traditional Cotton Contains Toxic Material
Most people don’t know the detrimental effects of chemicals used in the traditional cotton industry. During the process when cotton is transformed into fibres, it is often bleached and dyed with substances containing heavy metals and then polished using similar substances. In other words, non-organic cotton contains chemicals that may cause dermatitis and skin irritation.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin. It is possible to protect organic cotton against insect infestation either by safeguarding birds and insects that are natural enemies of pests or by using natural pesticides.
In contrast, conventional cotton growers have the full array of tools at their disposal, whether it’s insecticides to ward off pests or synthetic fertilisers to maximise yield per acre grown. In addition, growers of conventional cotton utilise genetically modified seeds, engineered to be herbicide and insect resistant.
A Fair Global Supply Chain
As you might know, the textile industry operates on global supply chains, which have the reputation to exploit the weakest links. The way in which we engage in sustainable fabric sourcing has an influence on more than 100 million rural households, which are engaged in cotton production in over 75 countries.
The good news is that a considerably large amount of organic cotton also adheres to the Fairtrade Standards, which means that the health and safety of the farmers are protected. Further, farmers are empowered to protect the natural environment, while genetically modified cotton seeds are banned.
Therefore, sustainable sourcing lays the foundation of fair supply chains and a greener environment.
Buy Organic Cotton Fabric for Better Quality
Traditional cotton is generally harvested by machines, as this is the quickest and cheapest way to do it. Unfortunately, mechanised harvesting damages the fibres and alters their purity. This has an influence on the quality of the final product.
Hand-picking, on the other hand, makes it possible to obtain longer fibres, without breaking or weakening them. This means that garments made of organic cotton are softer and more durable.
Choosing organic cotton is the first and one of the most important steps to make fashion sustainable, not only reducing the environmental footprint but ultimately eliminating toxin in what we wear.
Customers Are Willing to Buy Organic Cotton
Some companies might still be afraid to buy organic cotton, as the price tag is usually higher compared to traditional processes. The costs of organic cotton stem from increased harvesting and manufacturing costs, as no harmful pesticides or fertilisers are used during the process. Equally important, cotton farmers will receive a fair wage for a decent living.
However, it is crucial to look at the ROI of your sourcing decisions. The valuable “organic” label has the potential to boost your revenues. Recent studies reveal that more than a third of all global customers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
In fact, 85% of all consumers have become greener when it comes to their individual product choices. This means that you can build up a much bigger customer base and generate more profits despite higher sourcing costs.
Sustainable Cotton Fabric Boosts Your Brand Reputation
Customers are more and more aware of what the term “organic” entails from an environmental as well as a human perspective. Therefore, you can be sure that the “organic” label will boost your brand reputation.
In times of environmentally-aware customers, sustainable manufacturing and sourcing methods have become valuable marketing assets. The costs are negligible compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on marketing campaigns with little to no impact.
On the other hand, you can promote your sustainable fabrics across all marketing campaigns and outlets – a win-win situation for your organisation, the environment and all people involved in the global supply chain.