Growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fibre production; one kilogram of cotton takes as much as 10,000-20,000 litres of water to produce. It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a t-shirt using conventionally grown cotton. That’s enough water for one person to drink for 900 days. Organic cotton uses one tenth of the water.
16% of the insecticides used globally are used for conventionally grown cotton, polluting soil and waterways, and poisoning people and animals. Organic cotton uses zero synthetic pesticides, zero artificial fertilizers. Since no synthetic chemicals are used, water pollution is reduced by 98%.
Conventionally grown cotton has a global warming potential of 1,808 kg of CO2 eq. per 1,000 kg of cotton fiber produced. Organically grown cotton has a global warming potential saving of 46%.
The acidification potential for organic cotton is 70% less than conventionally grown cotton.
Eutrophication occurs when excess nutrients from artificial fertilizers are swept off of crops and into nearby bodies of water by rain and irrigation. These excess chemicals disrupt aquatic ecosystems and can result in anoxic conditions fatal to aquatic organisms. The eutrophication potential for organic cotton is 26% less than conventionally grown cotton.
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