About Organic Cotton
25% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on cotton, causing devastation to our land, air, water and the health of people living in conventional cotton-growing areas. The simple act of growing and harvesting the one-pound of cotton fiber needed to make a T-shirt takes an enormous toll.
When cotton is grown organically, it is done without the use of chemicals or harmful pesticides. Sustainable and organic growing methods support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, improving the quality of the soil, using less water and helping to prevent groundwater pollution. Organic farmers rely on crop rotation to replenish and maintain soil fertility. Mechanical cultivation and botanical or biological means are used to control pests and weeds.
A field must be pesticide-free for at least three years to be certified organic, and the cotton must be processed according to international organic standards.
The standards also set strict guidelines for transportation and storage to avoid cross-contamination. In the U.S., cotton labeled as organic has to be certified by an independent agency recognized by the USDA's National Organic Program.