Textile Exchange further states that organic cotton creates 46% less greenhouse gas emissions, and Vogue Australia adds that, “By virtue of being fertiliser- and pesticide-free, the soil also acts as a ‘carbon sink’, absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere”. Another exciting aspect of pesticide-free farming is that the soil stays fertile and does not erode and degrade as quickly as it does when fertilised with harsh agrochemicals. However, as Truscot mentions, “nothing’s perfect”, and some reports claim that scaling the production of organic cotton could actually lead to greater greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to non-organic cotton.
Another red flag worth keeping an eye out for is greenwashing. Words like organic and eco-friendly are some of the most commonly used to mask over the realities of a product. The cultivation of cotton is not the only area in the supply chain that has negative impacts on the people and the environment, but rather, the entire process, from dying to distributions, can be harmful. These processes differ from company to company, which is why it is imperative to check for organic cotton certifications and shop from ethical brands that champion transparency and intersectional environmentalism.