Although people associate cotton with nature, conventional cotton is anything but natural. It takes 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to make one conventional cotton t-shirt, a startling fact but a reality with conventional cotton production. Globally, conventional cotton uses 25% of all insecticides, and 10% of all pesticides. In addition, conventional cotton farming uses more chemicals per acre than any other crop, depletes the soil, requires more water, and poses a health hazard for people and animals.
Problems linked to pesticide and synthetic fertilizer use in conventional cotton farming include; reduced soil fertility, water pollution, reduced biodiversity in the surrounding areas and animal poisoning (both wild and farmed). In addition, the World Heath Organization estimates that at least 20,000 people in developing countries die every year from poisoning by agricultural pesticides and 3 million suffer acute health problems or reproductive after effects. Conventional cotton farming is responsible for human hardships and environmental decay. Organic cotton, on the other hand, does not use toxic chemicals, requires less water, is safer for people and animals, is gentler on the environment and is a sustainable and viable option. Organic cotton, however, is only one part of the equation.
Organic farming standards only address the farming of the cotton itself. They do not address the processes required to transform the cotton fiber into a cotton fabric, nor do they cover the processes required to turn the cotton fabric into an article of clothing. Baby clothes may be made with 100% organic cotton and yet be processed in mills or facilities with poor environmental practices. In addition to wastewater pollution, these mills or facilities may ultimately produce a garment containing high levels of toxic chemical residues, far from being "organic". In order to address these concerns and regulate the processing of organic cotton and production of organic cotton garments, a handful of organizations have developed global standards for textiles and are certifying production facilities and the finished products. A Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certificate and a certificate of Organic Exchange, both from Control Union Certifications (f.k.a. Skal International), guarantees that these international standards have been upheld in all aspects of the production of an organic garment. Nosilla Organics garments are produced in accordance with GOTS and Organic Exchange guidelines as well as Oeko-Tex Standard 100. A Nosilla garment is organic from seed to sale.