Is there really such a big difference between conventional and organic cotton? What about claims that organic cotton is actually worse for the environment than conventional? These claims rely on the argument that conventional cotton has been genetically engineered to produce more fiber than organic cotton, making it more efficient to use in textiles like clothing or bedding. Conventional requires less water, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and is overall a more environmentally-conscious choice, according to this article.
However, this approach doesn’t take into account the long-term environmental effects of conventional cotton vs. organic cotton. It’s important to know that conventional cotton is one of the most sprayed and chemically treated crops. The pesticides and herbicides sprayed to treat conventional cotton can drift through the air and contaminate water, air, and crops. For people sensitive to environmental chemicals, this can spell disaster.
Organic cotton also utilizes less energy than conventional, produces fewer greenhouse gases, and improves soil quality. Organic farming practices help to sequester carbon in the soil, which actually helps mitigate the effects of climate change and carbon emissions.
From an ecological standpoint, organic farming practices also promote biodiversity among insects and spiders, earthworms, pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, soil microbes, and even larger animals like rodents and birds. The facts back up organic cotton’s claims to better environmental sustainability and a healthier earth, and we’re proud to use only organic cotton in our organic mattresses, organic sheets, and other organic accessories.
For more information and details on the benefits of organic cotton, we recommend this article from The Organic Center.