Cotton and the textile industry
The textile industry has become one of the most polluting activities today and the consumption of cotton is one of the major causes. This material, which is a large part of our clothing, consumes enormous amounts of water resources for its cultivation. Conventional cotton production is also responsible for the use of about 24% of pesticides worldwide - according to the World Health Organization - as well as topping the list for several other chemicals. At the same time, one of the favored strategies to limit the environmental impact of cotton cultivation and industrial use seems to be organic cotton, so what is organic cotton and how favorable would it be as an ecological material and choice to adopt in the textile industry?
What is organic cotton and how is it different from conventional?
Organic cotton is cotton that is produced according to specific organic farming standards. Its cultivation completely excludes the use of insecticides and chemicals, and the use of genetically modified seeds in the process is also prohibited. Furthermore, the production of organic and ecological cotton is also subject to certain principles and practices that must be adopted and it is not only a matter of replacing chemical agricultural inputs with natural elements.
One of the key standards is to naturally manage the fertility of the cultivated soils as well as the nutrition of the plants. Some of the practices adopted in this regard are the use of organic fertilizers, the rationalization of water use - more than 5,000 liters of water are needed to produce a single kilo of conventional cotton - and the planning of crops according to anti-erosion management.
A second standard concerns the use of natural solutions in the fight against crop diseases and pests. This includes continuous monitoring and observation of crops and a preventive biological strategy against insect pests.