Non-organic cotton plants are highly susceptible to pests and diseases and conventional cotton farmers are responsible for 25% of global pesticide use. Non-organic cotton is responsible for the release of US$2 billion of chemical pesticides each year more than any other single crop worldwide.
The UN and WHO estimate that up to 77 million non-organic cotton workers suffer poisoning from pesticides each year with more than 1 million agricultural workers worldwide requiring hospitalization each year.
In the atmosphere, for every kilo of raw non-organic cotton, the plant uses a kilo of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, which produces N2O, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
And pesticides deplete the soil nutrients resulting in the need for synthetic fertilisers, which creates a vicious cycle of increased chemical use.
There are disastrous health and environmental impacts of traditional cotton growing with pesticide exposure, pesticide poisoning and toxic soils & waterways.
The Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) has paved the way for textile production that prohibits the use of any toxic pesticides.
At Bhumi all of our cotton is organically grown and produced as nature intended without the use of any toxic pesticides. Organic cotton farmers use environmentally sustainable systems that maintain and replenish the fertile soil, promote biodiversity and natural pest control. Natural fertilisers such as animal manure and compost are used that recycle the nitrogen within the soil.
We only use and will only ever use GOTS certified fairtrade organic cotton for there to be a positive impact from “seed to shelf” on humanity and the environment. Being strict in our certification ensures that along the whole supply chain there are no GM seeds, no harmful chemicals, insecticides and pesticides, no toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes, no child labour, fair wages and safe working conditions.
Overall, this results in having the lowest environmental impact, a deep sense of social justice with fair trade practices and also the purest and softest cotton, that is resilient and gentle on our skin.
About the Author: Vinita is the Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton and passionate about an Earth Life Balance.