Why is conventional cotton bad?
Regular cotton has been labelled as the ‘dirtiest crop on earth.
Sounds harsh, but that’s the reality! Cotton production has massive community and environmental issues with heavy use of pesticides, water shortages and human costs, both physically and economically.
Regular cotton needs a lot of pesticides
Insecticides (or chemicals that cause major harm to you and the planet) are the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health.
Pesticides are a major global killer. Nearly 1,000 people die every day from acute pesticide poisoning and many more suffer from chronic ill health, such as cancers and leukaemia, neurological diseases and reproductive problems including infertility, miscarriage and birth defects.
It takes 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton shirt
Do you know that 2700 litres are equivalent to the amount of water for one person to drink for 900 days? Seems like a high price for a cotton t-shirt when you think of it this way.
The fact is we consume unseen or ‘virtual water’ every day in the production of food and fibre and non-food commodities.
Cotton needs a lot of water throughout the whole production process from the growing, manufacturing and dying – they’re a thirsty crop!
Globally, cotton consumes 100 billion gallons of water every year. In order to provide this amount of irrigation, waterways in many developing countries are diverted to feed the cotton fields, often with devastating effects – the Aral Sea is a prime example as it has shrunk to half its’ size.
Why is organic cotton good?
What is organic cotton?
Organic cotton comes from seeds that have not been genetically modified (non-GMO) and is grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilisers. Organic cotton farming uses natural methods, such as crop rotation, which benefit not only the soil, fauna and the environment, but create biodiversity and promote good health and quality of life for farmers and their communities.
Statistics about organic cotton v regular cotton
- Organic cotton represents only 9% of the 26 million tonnes of cotton produced annually
- Conventional cotton represents 16% of the world’s insecticides/herbicides
- Water pollution impact of organic cotton has been shown to be 98% less than non-organic cotton production.
- Global production of organic cotton saw an impressive 56% growth between 2016/17 and 2017/18.
How can we dress more sustainably?
- Look for brands that are sourcing sustainably produced cotton via international standards and farming programmes – for example, and GOTS, Fairtrade certification, or the Better Cotton Initiative.
- Don’t get sucked into fast fashion. Choose pieces that you absolutely love and ones you know you'll keep forever. Vivienne Westwood said it best: 'Buy less, choose well, make it last.'
- Avoid the urge of impulse-buying in the hype of sales such as Black Friday. It was invented to hone in on this psychology and many products were available at this ‘sale’ price before or after this period. Do your research!
- Support local home-grown independent brands. They tend to consider quality, sustainable, eco-friendly processes, and are crafted with love.
- The age-old phrase of ‘Make-Do and Mend’ still applies. Don’t be so keen to dump your clothes if they have a small rip, can you repair and reuse?
Is Artfully/Wild GOTs-certified?
Artfully/Wild uses a system of dropshipping meaning we have zero inventory and we are only producing garments we need to fulfil orders.
We have carefully sourced suppliers of garments that we print our designs onto that meet our ethos of sustainability. Our suppliers are GOTS-certified, Fair Wear and PETA certified so we are confident that we are bringing you the best in the market – no greenwashing here!