What outfit are you wearing today? The chances are that much of it is made of cotton. Because cotton is the most important natural fibre in the world: half of all the fibres used in our clothes are coming from the cotton plant. Annually, around 25 million kilograms of cotton are produced in 85 countries. And that provides 250 million people with their livelihoods. Huge figures! However, there is a very large ‘but’. Cotton cultivation and production have a large impact on the planet, and working conditions are often very poor. That’s why we’ve choose for sustainable cotton.
A large impact on the environment
About 25 million kilograms of cotton are produced each year. That’s a huge number! By its very scale, cotton has a large environmental impact. But there’s more. The cultivation process itself is also very damaging to the environment.
Water: 1 kilogram of cotton requires 20,000 litres of water. And that can have serious consequences for the environment. Just think of the drying up of the Aral Sea.
Pesticides: cotton cultivation is the largest user of pesticides in the world. That has a huge impact on the environment and climate, but also on the people who work in the cotton fields.
In addition, cotton is mainly grown and processed in low-income countries, often in poor working conditions. That’s why we have chosen to use only sustainable cotton in our products. This can be organic cotton, but also Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton.
Organic cotton and the GOTS label
GOTS stands for the ‘Global Organic Textile Standard’, and is a certificate for more sustainable and organically produced cotton.
No chemical pesticides, but natural pesticides based on leaves or fruit
Crop rotation, which keeps the soil fertile and reduces its water demand
No GMO seeds
No harmful chemicals in the textile factories
Safe working conditions for the workers
And that produces an impressive result compared with ‘traditional’ cotton cultivation:
Up to 46% less impact on global warming
Up to 70% less soil acidification
Up to 26% less soil erosion
Up to 91% less water consumption
Up to 62% less energy consumption
BCI: more sustainable cotton
Our garment supplier is also a member of the Better Cotton Initiative(BCI). This is an organisation which wants to tackle cotton production worldwide and transform it into a more sustainable process. It focuses on three main areas: economy, ecology and society. Above all, the BCI wants to make a difference where it’s really needed, with cotton farmers themselves. And in several different ways.
Strict criteria for pesticide use
Special attention when dealing with water, soil and the natural habitat
Improvement of working conditions
Training programmes for farmers
Regular on-the-spot checks
Increased farmers’ productivity
Above all, the Better Cotton Initiative wants to make a difference for the cotton farmers themselves, but it also has strict environmental criteria for textile factories.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations:
Sustainable cotton has so many advantages over conventional cotton! And yet only 1% of the cotton is ethical. Do you want to help change this? Check out our collection to see how good you can look at with sustainable cotton.