Does Organic Cotton Matter?

Does Organic Cotton Matter?

The dirtiest crop and how organic makes a difference

Everyday we are inundated with bad news about how we are participating in the climate change catastrophe that we are currently experiencing - and it’s true that through changing our purchasing behaviors we can make a difference, but figuring out what is good and bad to buy is complicated. 

Let’s take fabric for example, in our last blog post, we investigated micro-plastics and how poly-blend fabrics shed them directly into our water supply. It seems like an easy decision to make the switch to 100% cotton products - right? Except for that pesky little fact that cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop. 

Wait. What. 


It’s true. 

Non-organic Cotton is terrible for a few key reasons: 

Water consumption

Because of how and where cotton is grown, farmers are forced to rely on a single crop with little ability to rotate fields. This leaves soil with few nutrients and increases the need for water. About 20,000 liters of water is needed to produce one kilogram of cotton fiber. 1

Pesticides + Insecticides

Cotton accounts for just 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but uses 6% of the world’s pesticides and 16% of its insecticides 2 This is terrible for the environment, for farmer’s, communities in cotton-growing regions and consumers who inadvertently expose themselves to chemicals on purchased materials. 

Choosing organic cotton textiles truly makes a difference. 

Organic cotton uses 62% less energy and 88% less water than traditionally grown cotton and does not use chemical pesticides and fertilizers 4

Want to find and shop for organic cotton materials? Check that the products you are buying are GOTS certified, this is a globally recognized certification that ensures that the cotton growing, processing and manufacturing is organic, not harmful to the environment or the people making it. 

Our collective purchasing power can make a difference, by creating demand for organic and sustainable products, more will be produced, and slowly but surely a larger impact will occur throughout the supply chain. 

All of Rosemary’s products are made with GOTS certified fabrics. Shop cotton napkins and paper towel replacements here