Produce Sustainable Denim Using Organic Cotton | Organic Denim and Jeans

Posted by Sustainable Denim on Thursday, November 14, 2019 0

Organic Denim and Jeans
Cotton is the core fiber to produce Denim fabric. It is used to produce Denim fabric either using 100% of total fiber content or blends with some other fiber like polyester, spandex, viscose, modal and many more. Since the main raw material of Denim is cotton fiber thus the sustainable cotton is necessary to use in sustainable denim production. 


Organic cotton is a sustainable source of cotton across the globe and it is growing only 1% among total amount of cotton produced in the world. Approximately 26 million tons of organic cotton in 35 countries were produced two years back. According to the Textile Exchange, the global market of organic cotton is $5.16 billion which is using in clothing and home textiles.


What is Organic Cotton?

Organic Cotton fiberThe cotton which is grown without using any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides or defoliants and even without using any Genetically Modified Seeds (GMS). It is produced by following internationally recognized organic farming standards of the EU regulation 834/2007, the US national Organic Program, the Indian National Programme for Organic Production and the Japanese Agricultural Standard and are certified to be grown by the international certification body.  

Organic cottons are grown without using artificial chemicals thus supporting biodiversity and biological cycles. This sustainable cotton fiber production is more environmentally friendly and better for the health of the community and for the local economy than Genetically Modified Cotton. The production process is a systemic approach which aims to establish a diverse and balanced farming ecosystem ideally including all types of crops and farming activities.

Organic cotton is grown avoiding any toxic chemicals or GMS thus it has a low impact on the environment. The production process leaves the soil useful for other crops to supplement farmer's food and other income.

Cotton is a thirsty fiber as it takes huge amount of water to be grown. Since organic cotton production process is free from using synthetic chemicals means no energy consumption to produce those substances and it is rain fed to large parts that means less irrigation and less strain on already water scarce areas. In contrast, the conventional cotton is a chemical intense process. These chemicals have dangerous negative impact on air, water and soil.

Since clean dry denim fabric is one of the cornerstones of the most reputed mills and brands thus many of the the cotton Denims originate from certified organic farming.

According to the study, to produce one pair of Jeans 10850 liters water is required and also causes 32.5 KG carbon-dioxide gas emission. If the Denims are produced with organic cotton then 3000 liters water can be saved as well as 2.5kg carbon-dioxide gas emission will be reduced.

Organic Cotton VS Conventionally Grown Cotton

A life cycle analysis comparing organic cotton with conventionally grown cotton made by Textile Exchange in 2014 shows that organic cotton has a 46% reduced global warming potential, 70% less acidification potential, 26% reduced eutrophication potential (soil erosion), 91% reduced blue water consumption and 62% reduced primary energy demand.

Choosing organic cotton in Denim production means the reduction of environmental impact from the very first step in the process of making a pair of Jeans. The organic farming methods eradicate the risks associated with hazardous chemicals used in conventional cotton farming. This is not just for the people who are working in the fields but also for the soil as it is not contaminated by the toxic chemicals. Most of the organic cottons are produced in Turkey, India and small portion in China, according to the report.

Also the brands and retailers check their organic cotton whether it is from the source of Fair Trade to ensure fair working conditions and precise payment to the farmers for their cotton fiber.

Who gives the certification of organic cotton?

Internationally recognized certification body Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Organic Content Standard (OCS) provide the certificate by ensuring the cotton has been grown in sustainable way. Both GOTS and OCS run under Textile Exchange which is core organization of this function.

References:

https://www.nudiejeans.com/sustainability/organic-cotton
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/organic-cotton
https://www.outlanddenim.com.au/blogs/news/indigo-goes-green-our-organic-denim-jeans

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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