What is the difference between regular cotton and organic cotton? Regular cotton is grown on the same soil over and over again, degrading the soil quality, stripping it of nutrients, thus leading to unhealthy crops. Since these crops require more water, they are irrigated heavily, resulting in water wastage. Organic cotton is rotated from one soil to another, and the nutrients retain water longer, requiring less irrigation. Furthermore, The weeding process of regular cotton farming uses chemicals in the form of herbicides that kill weeds. The use of such harmful chemicals affects the quality of crops, suck out moisture and nutrients from the soil, and also harm the farmers. Organic cotton is softer, hypoallergenic, and lasts for a long time. But ultimately, the most important benefit is protecting the ecosystem, reducing wastage of water, and ensuring a safer working environment for the farmers and manufacturers.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) ensures controls are made to secure that the cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Water consumption is also less in order to keep a low impact on the environment. Moreover do the organic production systems help to replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture never using genetically engineered or modified cotton seeds. In order for a textile to be GOTS certified, 70% of the material must be organic.
BCI cotton (Better Cotton Initiative) exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it and better for the environment it grows in by educating workers about water and pesticide use, and by promoting soil and biodiversity conservation. It aims to improve the quality of the cotton fibre and to provide minimum standards of work for farmers and their workers. BCI still uses genetically modified seeds but ultimately is a better alternative to generic cotton which has no criteria for waste management and water usage.