Why Buy Organic Cotton?

Cotton has really great marketing behind it, but conventional cotton has some dirty secrets.

I’m sure you guys have all seen those “Fabric of Our Lives” ad campaigns, featuring happy people snuggling into cotton garments. Sure, conventional cotton is comfy. It’s also relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. What we don’t always think about with textiles is how that fabric gets onto the shelf.

We talk a lot at Crafting a Green World about eco-friendly fabrics, but we don’t always spend as much time talking about why it’s important to opt for these alternatives. They’re often more expensive and harder to find than their conventional counterparts, and I think sometimes we forget the “whys” behind green crafting.

Why buy organic cotton?

What's the trouble with conventional cotton?

Cotton gets a lot of love as a natural fabric, but how natural is conventional cotton, really? Let’s take a look at how non-organic cotton production impacts the planet and the people who grow and harvest it.

Conventional cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world. In fact, 16% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on this single crop alone. That is huge. These pesticides run off into local waterways contaminating drinking water and harming wildlife.

All of those pesticides are no good for the people who work in those fields, either. We grow the vast majority of the world’s cotton in developing countries, and those farmers don’t have the means to implement as many safety measures in their farming operations. These farmers experience an array of health problems from coming into contact with all of those pesticides in the field.

Another little-known fact about conventional cotton is that much of the stuff grown worldwide is genetically modified. That means when you buy conventional cottons, you’re indirectly supporting companies like Monsanto, who are notorious for mistreating and bullying farmers. In India, farmers are so deeply in debt from costs associated with GM cotton that in some areas farmers are committing suicide at rates up to one every eight hours.

Feeling a little bit down about the cottons in your stash? Dont beat yourself up! I’m a big believer in using what you have and doing the best you can to make greener choices in the future. Instead of feeling guilty, be glad that now you’re empowered to make more sustainable choices next time you’re shopping for fabric.


Rose Becke3 years ago

Slave labor

sharyn w.
sharyn w4 years ago

Recently made my first investment in a organic wool and a organic cotton bed pillows for sleeping/napping also some organic cotton pillow cases and pillow covers for non-organic buckwheat pillows that I already have. Slowly but surely I'm going to have as much as I can organically grown products where I spend about 1/3(so say the experts) of my life sleeping. Bedroom carpet is next to go on my list.

Karen K.
Karen K4 years ago

good info

Marie W.
Marie W4 years ago

Just ban pesticides.

Geoff P.
Geoff P4 years ago

Yes indeed why buy it.

Karen S.
Karen S4 years ago


Kay M.
Kay M4 years ago


Ashley heffner
Lady Suki4 years ago


Ashley heffner
Lady Suki4 years ago

Very useful.