With the rise of slow fashion and the growing demand for sustainable clothing, more and more clothing companies are incorporating eco-friendly materials into their products. So, what exactly are the differences between organic cotton and recycled cotton, and which one is better for the environment?
Organic cotton (much like organic fruits and vegetables) is grown without chemicals and pesticides, making it a safer choice for farmers, workers, and the environment. It also uses less water compared to traditional cotton farming methods. Generally, when you choose organic cotton, you're supporting sustainable agriculture and reducing the impact of cotton farming on the environment. It’s like getting yoru clothes from the farmers’ market!
Recycled cotton, on the other hand, is made from textile waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. This means that recycled cotton saves resources and reduces waste. Using recycled cotton requires less energy and water compared to producing new cotton. Another perk of recycled cotton is that since it’s been worn, most of the harmful factory dyes and chemicals have been washed out, which is less of a health risk and is WAY softer than new cotton. (Like your high school boyfriend’s sweatshirt soft.)
So, Which is Better?
While both organic and recycled cotton have their own environmental benefits, the most sustainable option is choosing clothing made from a combination of both materials. We know, not the most satisfying answer, but the good news is most sustainable clothing companies use a blend. Choosing clothing made from both materials can support a sustainable future for the fashion industry by diverting the demand for new cotton, primarily funded by fast fashion companies. Choosing organic or recycled cotton is one way to take back consumer power and help move the needle towards a more sustainable tomorrow!