Why Organic Cotton? A Look At Your Shirt’s Origins

Traditional cotton farming has been a staple of the fashion industry for ages, but it's really starting to weigh on our planet. That’s why organic cotton is increasingly becoming the favorable option. Shoppers are catching on and making the switch, increasingly opting for products that align with their ethical values. Let’s break all this down.

Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton

  • Water Conservation

Growing traditional cotton usually takes a lot of water—about 2,700 liters to produce just one t-shirt! This heavy water use tends to drain local water resources. But organic cotton uses much less water, roughly 1,100 liters for the same shirt. Why? Because it mostly depends on natural rainfall instead of artificial irrigation. That means water savings of over 50%.

Plus, organic cotton farming methods like mulching and using minimal soil tillage help keep the soil moist and reduce runoff. These techniques not only save water but also cut down on the use of "blue water"—the type drawn from our rivers and underground. In fact, studies have shown that organic cotton uses more than 90% less blue water. For every 1,000 kg of cotton produced, organic methods use only about 182 cubic meters of water compared to 2,120 cubic meters for conventional cotton. 

  • Reduced Chemical Usage

Instead of relying heavily on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can pollute our land and waterways, the process uses things like compost, manure, and cover crops to help feed the plants, while beneficial insects and natural predators keep pests in check. This natural approach results in products like the Vustra’s Azure Waves shirt, keeping ecosystems healthier and more diverse.

  • Carbon Footprint and Climate Change

Nature-friendly practices like non-GMO seeds and crop rotations used for organic farming pull carbon right out of the air and lock it into the soil – unlike production processes of regular farm inputs. This not only slashes greenhouse gases but also enriches the soil, making it resilient.

Moreover, organic cotton is incredibly efficient at absorbing CO2—way more than other plants. In fact, it's estimated that 1,000 grams of it can take in over 2,500 grams of CO2. So when you choose products like our Oceanic Floral Print shirt, you’re helping efforts to reverse the effects of climate change.

Health Benefits of Organic Cotton

If you have sensitive skin or allergies you won’t have to worry about harsh pesticides and synthetic fertilizers which often irritate the skin. This type of cotton is also processed without strong chemical dyes and bleaches, making the fabric much gentler – like you get with the Navy Lily Print shirt which is made from 100% organic cotton. 

For farmers, switching to organic cotton means avoiding the health risks associated with hazardous chemicals found in traditional farming, improving both personal health and working conditions. 

Social and Economic Impacts of Organic Cotton

  • Fair Labor Practices

Improvement in labor practices comes from standards set by organizations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), making sure that the workers involved receive fair wages, work reasonable hours, and operate in a safe environment. Such measures help enhance the lives of both farmers and factory workers. Plus, because organic cotton avoids harmful chemicals, it can lead to healthier workers who face fewer issues, potentially reducing medical costs and boosting productivity.

  • Economic Stability for Farmers

Organic cotton is known for providing farmers with more stable financial returns compared to conventional cotton. This is largely due to its premium market value, which is fueled by a growing consumer interest in sustainable products. Additionally, the farming techniques used in organic cotton production promote a diverse cropping system. This diversification not only improves soil health and lowers the likelihood of pest problems but also gives farmers the opportunity to grow additional food or cash crops alongside the cotton. This can help them maintain a consistent income and enhance their food security throughout the year. 

When you buy a product like Vustra’s Medieval Blue Short Sleeve Polo, which is made entirely from certified organic cotton, you're supporting these positive practices. Each purchase helps maintain sustainable farming methods and fair working conditions, reinforcing the ethical treatment and economic well-being of the workers involved.

To support organic cotton, always check for certifications like GOTS or Organic Content Standard (OCS) on labels, ensuring that your purchase helps sustain these beneficial practices. GOTS is pretty thorough, overseeing the entire process from growing the cotton to the final product. It makes sure everything is up to scratch, including environmental and social standards. The OCS, however, mainly checks that the final product really contains the organic materials it claims to have.


Photo by Amber Martin on Unsplash

Collection list