| Field To Factory: Organic Cotton|
||Natural, untreated. Not genetically modified, which
means there are no patent laws prohibiting farmers
from collecting, saving and replanting seeds.
||Typically treated with fungicides or insecticides.
GM seeds used for 87% of US cotton. Patent laws
require farmers to buy new GM seeds every year,
increasing their costs.
||Crop rotation and composting promote soil health.
Organic matter retains moisture.
||Monoculture (consistent planting of one crop)
depletes nutrients in soil, synthetic fertilizers
|WEED & INSECT MANAGEMENT
||Healthy soil creates stronger plants that are more
resistant to pests and disease. Companion crops
lure harmful insects or attract beneficial bugs.
||Spraying of pesticides. The five most commonly
used pesticides are either suspected carcinogens
||Natural defoliation from freezing temperatures or
||Defoliation with toxic chemicals.
||Healthier environment for farm workers. Cotton
byproducts—plant waste, ground seeds for
livestock feed, oil for processed food—are not
contaminated with chemicals.
||High risk of worker health issues. Fertilizers and
pesticides pollute water, soil and food supply.
||ORGANIC FABRIC PRODUCTION
||CONVENTIONAL FABRIC PRODUCTION
||Nontoxic oxygen bleaches such as
||May use chlorine bleach, which releases toxic
byproducts into the environment.
|DYEING & FINISHING
||No toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic
solvents. Chemicals meet basic requirements on
toxicity and biodegradability.
||May contain toxic compounds. Chemical
processes meet government regulations but may
or may not meet an eco standard (see below).
||Global Organic Textile Standard certifies organic
fiber as well as finished fabric, vouching for
responsible chemical and water use as well
as waste processing. Bluesign Technologies
certifies energy, water, chemistry and emissions
at processing facilities. Oeko-Tex Standard 100
certifies that finished fabrics are free from more
than 100 harmful substances.|
||Initial cost is more expensive. Consumers make
a long-term investment in the environment and
||Initial cost cheaper because doesn't include
impact on planet and people.