Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic chemicals and it is not exposed to chemicals after the growth process. The production and use of organic cotton provides an environmentally sound option. Conventional cotton crops are usually heavily sprayed with pesticides. These pesticides contaminate our air, soil and water, so it is best to use them as little as possible.
Organic cotton is currently being grown successfully in many countries; the largest producers (as of 2007) are Turkey, India and China.Organic cotton production in Africa takes place in at least 8 countries.
See more about cotton and pesticides.
Standards and Certification of Organic Cotton
“Organic textiles can be made from cotton or wool and even bamboo or hemp. In order to achieve organic certification, the fibre must be of certified organic origin. Simply put, a cotton farm has to have been managed in accordance with the organic standards (no prohibited chemicals used) for more than 3 years. Wool must come from certified organic sheep (no prohibited chemicals used on the land for more than 3 years and the animal also raised in accordance with the standards). Spinning, yarning, dyeing and garmenting are also required to be certified organic if the final product (e.g. t-shirt, socks etc) is to wear a “certified organic” label.”
Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is one of the main certifying bodies.
In the EU, the Council Directive on Organic Farming defines production and certification requirements of organic crops. In the USA and in Asia, the National Organic Program (NOP) respectively the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) do the same. See details at Organic Cotton Standards.