WHAT IS ORGANIC COTTON?
Put simply, organic cotton is grown from pure, non-GM, cotton seed and does not use chemicals as a means of pest management. Instead, cotton varieties are carefully selected to suit the local conditions (i.e. climate, soil condition and pest presence).
Organic farming techniques include crop rotation, mixed cultivation and planting trap crops to reduce the need for intervention and embracing a balanced agroecosystem
Farmers and manufacturers who comply with global standards for organic cotton production can apply for certification with the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) review board. We have chosen to source our GOTS certified organic cloth from India because of their farmers' high quality organic cotton and use of safe, herbal dyes. What's more, the manufacturer we deal with has a high social cause clause in their company ethos.
Organic cotton is not commercially produced in Australia (see our FAQ page for more detail on this). Therefore, you will find that all organic cotton retailers in Australia source their organic cotton internationally. When you are considering an organic cotton purchase, it is also good practice to ensure the organic cotton you buy is GOTS certified, which ensures that you are getting "the real deal", and check that the proportion of organic cotton in the fabric is greater than 90%. Some retailers label products as "organic" when in actual fact the total organic yarn content can be as little as 5-10%.
Here are some key links for further reading and source references:
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
Cotton Australia (2016). Fact Sheets: Biotechnology and cotton.
Cotton Australia (2016). Fact Sheets: Australian cotton industry overview.
Eyhorn, F. (2005). Organic cotton project guide (1st ed.). Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL: Frick, Switzerland.
Lacasse and Baumann (2004). Textile Chemicals: Environmental Data and Facts. German Environmental Protection Agency, Springer, New York (p. 609).
BENEFITS OF ORGANIC COTTON