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Organic Vs Conventional Cotton: A Comparative Review

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

We are a sustainable fashion brand. Its common knowledge that cotton is one of the most popular fabrics worldwide; and I would bet that you are wearing something made of cotton as you read this! With the fashion industry's growth, cotton has become a frontrunner and is heavily demanded, being used in practically every garment available today. With such immense popularity comes a price; often one we fail to see or choose to ignore.

To put this in perspective, you should note that as of 2020, cotton accounts for over half the globe's fibre needs. Secondly, it has rightfully earned the title of the worlds dirtiest crop. Conventionally grown cotton consumes over 16% of the world's insecticides and requires a staggering $2 billion worth of pesticides each year. These chemicals are by far some of the worst pollutants on the earth's face and leave destructive remnants behind. They contaminate the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil used to grow our food. Furthermore, they completely upset the ecological balance and damage natural resources in the process. Our environment is harmed much more than you can imagine, just for a single cotton T-shirt

There is a reason here at Emacity we pride ourselves on using only GOTS certified organic cotton to manufacture every single product we sell. It is so vital for us that you know that when wearing our stylish t-shirts, or colourful masks, you are not only looking after yourself but the environment too. Stay with us as we look at some of the critical differences between the organic cotton we use, and the regular one more commonly available!

Water usage

This one makes my stomach churn, and no not in good 'butterflies in my stomach' way. It is infamously known that to manufacture a single cotton t-shirt requires over 2700 litres of water. One kilo of regular cotton involves a surplus of 10,000 litres of water. It's incredibly frighting to think about; given the sheer volumes of cotton shirts being produced today and how minimal and unaccessible water as a resource is. This is a serious wake-up call, better a slap on the face. A switch to organic cotton would mean a 91% reduction in the water requirement without toxic chemicals or GMO seeds!

Lower Carbon Emissions

The global consumption of inorganic cotton has lead to over 220 million tonnesof greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere each year. Essentially, for every one tonne of regular cotton produced, is nearly 2 tonne of carbon emissions. Growing and the usage of organic cotton results in a 46% reduction in carbon emission, making a substantial difference in the damage done to our planet. This is because organic farming techniques call for crop rotation; a method that naturally sequesters carbon and limits it is presence In the atmosphere


The purity of the cotton fibres finds its roots in the way cotton is picked. Inorganic cotton is traditionally machine picked; conventionally grown cotton is produced and sold in tremendous volumes. To meet with the supply schedule, a high level of automation is required. Machine picking damages the fibres, leaving them weak and broken down. Organic cotton is wholly handpicked; leaving them soft to touch and having strong, extra-long-staple fibres.


Inorganic cotton uses pesticides, which not only ruin the environment; but humans too. Farmers that come in contact with pesticides or anything that they contaminate face occupational pesticide exposure. This has been linked with various diseases and health hazards that include several forms of cancer, congenital disabilities, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer's etc. Organic cotton by definition and principle is grown with zero pesticides or fertilizers, keeping humans and the environment safe.

Safe Environment Vs Deadly Environment

Organic cotton is linked with fairtrade and safe working environments. The cotton is handpicked, keeping the crop protected, and the farmers safe and healthy. In contrast, the inorganic cotton industry is nothing of the same. In India alone, over 27,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1995. Why? Primarily due to highly unethical working environments, where they need to toil for long hours with not even a square meal to eat, or any profit margin. Like you and I, humans are responsible for making the clothes we wear, and we don'teven realize the immense difficulties and hardships they face to keep our backs covered. Wouldn't you prefer to wear something made organically that not only keeps our home clean but protects the people working too?

If you were not aware of some of these issues, let them serve as a wake-up call. At Emacity, we strive to inculcate a movement of conscious consumerism and sustainability for a world with a brighter future. To do so, we need your support. All of us need to make the switch to more sustainable alternatives to protect our home from the severe ecological damage and the humans suffering at the hands of it.

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