Why GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Matters

Origanami And GOTS Certification

Why Is GOTS Organic Certified Cotton Important To Origanami?

What does Certified Organic Cotton mean for us?

It means:
• Providing quality products with honest values, principles, and with the best intentions for the farmers, the textile producers, our customers and the environment

What does Certified Organic Cotton mean for you?

It means:
• Our cotton is grown in virgin soil holistically, natural and pure, free of petroleum based fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and defoliants, yielding wonderfully soft to the touch fiber that is stronger than conventionally grown cotton
• Our materials and processes are tested by certified independent auditors, randomly and without warning, to ensure no agricultural chemical agents were used, and that bleaches and dyes were of organic compounds, verifying you furnishings are toxin free
• Our cotton farmer producers and manufactures are accountable to us, so we can be accountable to you ensuring that our furnishings are of the highest quality; pure, natural, soft and long lasting

What does Certified Organic Cotton mean for cotton farmer producers?

It means:
• The farmers we depend on have better security and dependable farming practices
• More consistent yields and incomes for the farming families and communities we source from
• A reduction in economic instability and an increase in subsidies for the communities where cotton is grown
• No exposure to pesticides and herbicides for the families and farmers who grow our cotton. That means less long-term health and respiratory illnesses for the communities
• Smart farming today, planning for tomorrow, and not sacrificing the future 

What does Certified Organic Cotton mean for the world?

It means:
• The soil where our cotton grows is continually enriched with natural plant matter by employing crop rotation, mixed cultivation, and companion planting
• Companion planting wards of natural enemies of cotton eating pests provide safety for the crops to blossom
• Natural eco-systems are re-introduced and established, restoring natural habitats which benefit people, wildlife and the global climate

  Cotton: It Was Organic Until... 

The origins of cotton production and use go back to ancient times, with the first evidence of cotton found in India and Pakistan around 6,000 B.C. Later, cotton production spread to Mesopotamia, Egypt and Nubia.

It was in the 1st century when Arab traders brought their cotton products to Italy and Spain, that the fiber was introduced into Europe. By the end of the 16th century, cotton was the primary export of India to Europe. 

The Industrial Revolution brought about the invention of the spinning machine (1738) and the cotton gin (1793), providing a great boost to cotton manufacturing. Manchester, England acquired the nickname "Cottonopolis" due to the cotton industry's omnipresence within the city.

Till the middle of the 19th century, India was the main provider of cotton fiber for Europe’s cotton industries. By then though, cotton had become the backbone of the southern North American economy and India's importance diminished. 

Organic Cotton Boll And Flower

Cotton, like many crops, has its challenges growing in "Big Ag" (big agriculture) mass, being susceptible to too much water, not enough water, soil depletion and pesky insects. But, it grew naturally, rather successfully, for thousands of years. In fact, our ancestors, until not that long ago, all ate organic foods, drank organic beverages and wore organic clothing...they just didn't call it organic. It just was the way it was. The Organic lifestyle, is not a new concept. 

The 50s were the golden age of pesticides for all things agriculture. New and amazing products were being discovered and introduced to the farming community. In these early days, no one knew there were downsides to pesticides and herbicides. After all, the public could see the miracles happening before their eyes. DDT had been used effectively during World War II to kill the insects that carried malaria and typhus, saving the lives of thousands of GIs.  And being that these chemicals were relatively new, very little was known about the problems that they would come to cause.

In 1952, in the U.S. alone, 5 percent of the cotton acres were treated with herbicides. By 1982, these percentages had risen to 93 percent of the cotton. Between 1947 and '52, the USDA registered almost 10,000 new, separate pesticide products and the list continued to grow through the rest of the century.

Conventional Cotton vs. Organic Cotton 

Approximately 105 million bales of cotton are grown annually on approximately 2.6% of global arable land in 61 countries.

One bale of cotton weighs 218.2 kilograms or 480 lbs. and produces about 200 full size bed sheets.

About 35% of a cotton plant is used in textiles. The remainder is used in cotton seed oil or animal feed, to name a few.

Conventional Cotton Farming

Conventional cotton makes up about 99% of the total global cotton production

The top cotton producing countries are India, China, The United States, Brazil and Pakistan

Conventional cotton production yields approximately 1.5 to 3+ bales per acre

Conventional cotton uses over $3.0 billion worth of pesticides, including about 10% of the world's pesticides and nearly 20% of the world's insecticides

Conventionally grown cotton uses up to  2000  gallons (7600 ltr) per US pound

Organic Cotton Farming

Organic cotton makes up about
1% of the total global cotton production

The top organic cotton producing countries are India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Tajikistan

Organic cotton production yields approximately 1.0 to 2.5+ bales per acre

Organic cotton, specifically GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, forbids the use of petroleum based fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and defoliants

Organic cotton farms rely on rain water or use naturally sourced irrigation systems

Nearly 1,000 people die every day world-wide from acute pesticide poisoning and many more suffer from chronic ill health.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that pesticides unintentionally kill at least 67 million birds annually in the U.S.as well as countless insects, fish and wildlife are equally affected.

Pesticide residue has been increasingly discovered in foods and in breast milk.

Conventional cotton farming in developing countries is of marginal profitability for many small farmers, some earning as little as two dollars a day. The average life expectancy is 35 old. If they do not die from chemical poisoning, debt can drive them to suicide.

GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certification guarantees organic cotton is grown without the use of petroleum based fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and defoliants. GOTS further guarantees only organic based compounds are used during the manufacturing process for the preparation, dyeing and finishing for textiles. 

This is why GOTS Certification matters to Origanami.