Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Organic Cotton Vs. Conventional Cotton

People often ask us why we recommend organic cotton apparel at our promotional product firm, eco imprints. After all, a conventional cotton shirt looks pretty much the same as an organic cotton shirt. And they're typically cheaper than organic.

Looks can be deceiving.

The processes used to grow conventional cotton are quite destructive to the environment. Conventionally grown cotton consumes 25% of the insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the WORLD today! Conventional farming devours roughly 150 grams of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton for a SINGLE T-shirt.

Here's a look at cultivation practices that clearly differentiate conventional and organic cotton farming:

Conventional cotton seeds are typically treated with fungicides or insecticides. Organic cotton uses untreated seeds.

Conventional cotton farmers apply herbicides to inhibit weeds. Organic cotton farmers physically remove weeds with hand-hoeing and cultivation, rather than through chemical destruction.

Conventional cotton uses insecticides and pesticides heavily. The 9 most common pesticides are highly toxic; five are probable carcinogens. And aerial spraying is frequently used, with potential drift onto workers, communities and wildlife. Organic Cotton farming maintains a balance between pests and other natural predators through healthy soil. It also uses "good" bugs, biological and cultural practices to control pests.

Using certified organic cotton for your corporate apparel programs shows a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Organic garments come from chemical and pesticide-free environments that protect our planet and the health of all creatures that live on it. That comfy organic cotton T-shirt is helping preserve our air, water and land.