How is it grown?
Before organic cotton can be planted, the soil must be free of toxic chemicals for at least three years.
Organic cotton farmers do not use artificial pesticides or herbicides for pest control and instead of chemical
fertilisers a variety of natural growth stimulators are utilised. Natural pest predators like birds, bees and ladybirds,
as well as beneficial bugs and viruses, will be encouraged by the farmer to protect his crops from attack, and soil
quality is maintained by crop rotation. Instead of chemically feeding the plants, the organic farmer will also apply
nitrogen-rich manure and plant nitrogen-fixing cover crops.
What makes organic cotton farming better?
Organic farming ultimately leads to long term and sustainable prevention, which as everyone knows,
is better than a quick-fix cure. It does this, and benefits farmers and their communities, in the following ways:
Ordinary cotton farmers are forced to buy expensive chemical pesticides, but organic pest controls are much
cheaper and will eventually manage themselves. Organic farmers’ revenues are also much higher, making agriculture
a viable way of earning a living.
Chemical pesticides and fertilisers are extremely poisonous and make their way into the water table, affecting
the lives of farmers and their families by causing diseases and death. They also augment the pest problem,
because pests will eventually become immune to pesticides used and so the farmer has to resort to more poisonous
and dangerous pesticides to achieve the same result. In an organic cotton field, a biologically diverse and natural
eco-system is maintained which means that there are no chemicals for the pests to become immune to, and
therefore no dangerous chemicals have to be used.
Ordinary cotton farming methods strip the soil of any nutrients which means that after a few years the land
becomes so polluted that it becomes unusable, but organic farmers use natural fertilisers and rotate their crops,
which does not dry up the soil and ensures that the soil remains fertile year after year.
Organic farmers will introduce beneficial bugs, viruses and natural pest predators to their fields and establish
a biologically diverse eco-system.
GM (Genetically Midified) Free
Organic cotton has an open supply chain, meaning that it can be traced back to the field it was grown in.
This close monitoring means that we can be sure that organic cotton is also GM free.
Is organic cotton any different from conventional cotton?
To get the best overall price, ordinary cotton is usually made up of a mixture of high and low grade cotton. This mixed cotton is usually of average quality. Organic cotton, on the other hand, must be traced from field to store and
cannot be mixed with other cottons, so this means that it is better quality and wears and washes much better than
ordinary cotton. Organic cotton is also much less likely to itch and irritate your skin, because the cotton has not
been treated with any skin irritants like pesticides.
Is organic cotton more expensive than ordinary cotton?
The processes involved in obtaining organic cotton and ensuring that the cotton obtained is wholly organic are complicated,
and because of this the price is slightly higher. But we think, and we hope you agree, that this slight increase in price is
worth it when you consider all the benefits involved in buying organic
Our Fairly Traded Promise to you
What about local employment issues?
Close relationships with farmers, ginners (who separate the organic cotton fibre from the seed),
spinners and factory owners ensures that the brand’s ethical employment standards are met at every level.
This includes ensuring that all workers involved in the various stages of production from field to factory are
provided with decent wages and fair employment conditions. the guidelines set out in the Ethical
Trading Initiative Labour Standards Code which recommends that:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labour is not used
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive
- One day off is provided every week
- No discrimination is practised
- Regular employment is provided
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed