Organic cotton is better for the environment than conventional cotton

Photo credit: Mike Beauregard Photo credit: Mike Beauregard

The Textile Exchange recently published a life cycle assessment (LSA) for organic cotton demonstrating that it is more environmentally friendly than conventional cotton.  A LSA which is also sometimes referred to as a ‘cradle to grave’ assessment, is a study designed to quantify the complete environmental inputs and outputs associated with a particular commodity from the beginning to the end of its construction.  The organic cotton LSA covers the planting, growing, harvesting, ginning and baling of cotton – the production steps before it enters the textile industry. When the results for the organic cotton LSA were compared to the results of independently published conventional cotton LSA the study found that organic cotton production is significantly more environmentally friendly.  Specifically, organic cotton production is much less likely to contribute to global warming, acidification and eutrophication than conventionally grown cotton.  It also conserves more water and uses less energy than conventional cotton production. This study provides quantitative data which establishing that organic cotton is better for our environment than conventional cotton.