Hero Organic Cotton
for humans and the environment
Organic Cotton: What It Is and Why It Is Good for You
Organic cotton is increasingly finding its way into modern textiles. While only a few letters serve to differentiate organic from normal cotton on the label, in reality the two are worlds apart.
Cotton has to clear several hurdles before it can call itself organic. Real organic cotton is good for both humans and the environment. While in the short run it may prove more expensive, in the long run organic cotton is better for our health and the Earth’s biodiversity.
Read on to learn more about:
- Where organic cotton comes from
- How organic cotton is different to normal cotton
- The advantages of organic cotton
- Organic certifications
- How best to look after your organic textiles
The Origins of Cotton
Cotton has been used by civilizations in different parts of the world for thousands of years. Ancient cotton remnants have been found in India, Africa, America and Egypt. By the Middle Ages and modern era, this versatile fiber was being used across the entire globe.
The Difference to Normal Cotton
The biggest difference between organic cotton and traditional cotton is how it is cultivated. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and is not grown in monocultures.
Growing Traditional Cotton
Using monocultures is common practice for GMO cotton. This agricultural strategy does, however, encourage pests and makes the soil infertile after a while. The pest problem is then combated using pesticides, which also have a negative effect on the soil. This is why normal cotton requires up to 10,000 liters of water a day, a great deal of which then pollutes and poisons the surrounding groundwater. As a result of these practices, the pests’ natural predators die out in the area, and with them the biodiversity of the local ecosystem.
Organic Farming and Organic Cotton
Instead of having monocultures, organic farmers ensure they have diverse crop rotations (where they vary the plant species they grow).
This farming method has two major benefits: the soil retains its natural fertility and crops are less susceptible to disease and pests. Crop rotation is also why no pesticides are needed. As there is no longer any need to use chemicals, the soil is much better at retaining water and the crops are more resistant to insects. The result is a natural cycle that will sustain itself long term.
The Advantage of Organic Cotton
Controlled organic farming avoids using any harmful agricultural practices. This protects the soil and biodiversity in the area, and helps keep everything in balance.
What choosing organic cotton really means:
- A smaller ecological footprint
- Using less water
- No chemicals or genetically modified seeds
- Protecting soil fertility and biodiversity
Various quality standards test products against these criteria.
Organic Certifications for Textiles
The term organic is a legally protected designation. A product can only be called organic if it fulfills all the criteria required for certification. Just as there are for foodstuffs, there are also various different certifications for textiles. Once a year, an independent certification body verifies whether a product still meets the necessary requirements.
Well-known seals for organic cotton include:
- GOTS standard
- OCS 100 standard
- kbA (kontrolliert biologischer Anbau – controlled organic farming)
GOTS-Standard Organic Cotton
The GOTS is a leading international standard that sets ecological criteria for organic textiles. The requirements define the standard of the entire textile production process, from growing the cotton to manufacturing the end product.
The criteria that need to be met to obtain the GOTS standard include:
- Only using natural pesticides
- Using largely renewable resources
- Maintaining soil fertility
- Checking chemical additives such as colorants for toxicity and biodegradability
Plastic has not been used in our packaging since January 2020. Instead, we protect our products from the outside world using paper bags. This way you receive your order in excellent condition and our products arrive in all their glory.
You can also continue our bag’s sustainable journey at home by putting it in with your paper recycling. After all, these bags can only really make a difference if they are reused or recycled.
How to Wash Organic Cotton
Cotton can endure temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius / 190 degrees Fahrenheit. So don’t worry, your organic cotton garments will not be ruined if you wash them at high temperatures every now and then. However, it is recommended to wash them at 30 degrees Celsius / 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep your organic cotton garments at their best and help them last longer.
Skin irritation or allergic reactions to the clothes we wear is the last thing we want – so our socks, T-shirts, shirts and underwear are certified according to STANDARD 100 by Oeko-Tex®. Our products are completely safe to wear.