Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials with a low environmental impact. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic cotton is grown without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit using the genetically engineered seed for organic farming. All cotton sold as organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering how the cotton is grown.
A conventional crop is grown with synthetic agriculture (fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants). Cotton is grown most commonly ‘conventionally’ around the world. Most farmers in developing countries grow some food crops, but they usually grow them as a monoculture (which means that it is the only significant crop grown on large plots of land). Conventional farming has a few key characteristics, such as fast technological development, large-scale farms, long-season monocultures, and uniform, high-yield hybrid crops.
Differences between Organic Cotton vs Cotton:
There are lots of differences between organic cotton vs cotton. In this article, I will mention some important differences.
|Organic cotton||Conventional cotton|
|1. The seeds used in organic cotton cultivation are natural, untreated, and GMO-free.||1. Cotton seeds are treated with fungicides or insecticides in conventional cultivation.|
|2. No synthetic fertilizer is used here. As a result, organic matter increases moisture retention in soil.||2. Environmentally harmful synthetic fertilizers are used.|
|3. Insecticides and pesticides are not used.||3. Spraying pesticides and insecticides from the air is a common practice. Cancer-causing agents are found in nine of the most commonly used pesticides.|
|4. In the case of freezing temperatures or the use of water management, natural defoliation occurs.||4. Toxic chemicals cause defoliation.|
|5. Fibers stabilized with double-plying or cornstarch that is nontoxic.||5. Toxic waxes are used to stabilize warp fibers.|
|6. Whitening is accomplished using Safe peroxide.||6. The process of bleaching with chlorine creates toxic byproducts that are released into the environment.|
|7. Clean with a soft scour in warm water with soda ash for a PH of 7.5 to 8.||7. Additional chemicals (sometimes formaldehyde) and hot water are used.|
|8. The use of fiber-reactive dyes or natural dyes with low metal and sulfur content has a low impact on the environment.||8. Heavy metals and sulfur are present at high temperatures.|
|9. Heavy metal-free, water-based inks and/or pigments.||9. The particles may be petroleum-based and contain heavy metals. The runoff pollutes streams and waterways.|
|10. There are social criteria in place to ensure a safe, healthy, nondiscriminatory, and non-abusive work environment.||10. No social screening is conducted. It is possible that child labor or forced labor was used. It is possible that facilities are unsafe and unhealthy.|
|11. In case of marketing, positive story can be told to differentiate you from your competitors.||11.There are none. There is an increased potential for negative image as awareness of organic advantage increases.|
|12. The initial cost is higher. The long-term benefits are priceless.||12. It was initially cheaper. The long-term impact on the environment is devastating.|
|13. Agro-organic farming keeps damaging chemicals out of cotton fields and protects local communities.||13. Pesticides used in conventional farming can travel up to 25 miles in the air and water, causing poisoning, infertility, and birth defects.|
|14.Due to the lack of harmful chemicals used in organic cotton cultivation, groundwater does not become polluted.||14. Harmful chemicals are used here. As a result, the groundwater was polluted.|
|15. It is eco-friendly and sustainable to use organic cotton||15. It is not sustainable and eco-friendly to use conventional cotton.|
Kazi Rashedul Islam is an “Assistant Technical Officer” at the Textile Engineering department at Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST). He achieved his Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from Dhaka University of Engineering & Technology (DUET) in 2018. In 2012 he completed a Diploma in Textile Engineering degree from Begumgonj Textile Engineering College(TECN), Noakhali.