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Organic vs. Non-Organic: Why You Need to Switch to Organic Cotton

Posted on April 17 2018

Organic vs. Non-Organic: Why You Need to Switch to Organic Cotton


The “organic” movement is everywhere—you cannot go into a grocery store without seeing organic advertised on many products. People are investing in organic food, organic beauty products and even organic household products. If organic really is much better for you, why hasn’t organic fabric and clothing been added to this revolution? This Earth Month, make organic clothing a priority for your shopping habits.

Nowadays, many brands advertise 100% cotton products. However, even pure cotton can be low quality, especially when there is little to none caution taken while growing the crop and manufacturing the items. In fact, according to WWF, 24% of the world’s insecticides and 11% of the world’s pesticides are used in cotton production; although it only accounts for 2.4% of the world’s cropland. When purchasing non-organic cotton, traces of the chemicals which are used to grow the crop stay with it through the production process, meaning it ends up eventually on your skin.



Typically, there are three tiers of cotton which goes into making your clothing. Firstly, there is cotton which is grown with genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMO cotton often introduces pesticides and fertilizers which are harmful for the environment, those who work in the cotton fields and those who wear the clothing. Secondly, there is sustainable cotton which doesn’t use the same levels of chemicals in the cultivation of the cotton, but may still maintain harmful additives which are bad for your skin and the earth.

Thirdly, there is organic cotton which is natural, pesticide free and the best quality for both your skin as well as the environment. In fact, it is estimated that farming organic cotton creates 94% less greenhouse gases than GMO cotton.

When ROUND + SQUARE’s Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Henriette Ernst, made the decision to start her own clothing brand, she knew one thing for certain, she was going to do it properly. To her this meant making sure that every step of the supply chain was curated with care and caution; starting from the way in which the cotton is grown in the fields. It was because of this concern that Henriette was dedicated to using only 100% organic cotton, and made sure it was certified through Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

 “We all eat organic and are very conscious with our food choices by avoiding GMO, and we think that’s enough. But we don’t know how conventional cotton have the highest level of pesticides and gene manipulation. Not to mention the effects on the farmers’ health, the water, and supply chain. It’s crazy!” Henriette said.

When you purchase a ROUND + SQUARE t-shirt, we guarantee 100% of the cotton used to make that shirt was grown organically, along with a GOTS certificate. With a GOTS certificate, it ensures that the cotton used to make the clothing is free of hazardous materials, which creates a safer work environment from those who farm it. All of the water used in the process is properly treated before being disposed of, eliminating the toxins from the water going back into the Earth. 

GOTS makes sure that there is no allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residue in the clothing being manufactured. All of the materials which go into both growing the cotton as well as turning the cotton into clothing, must meet certain biodegradability rules under GOTS.

Lastly, GOTS also makes certain that the working conditions both on the farms as well as in the factories are safe, modern and ethical- meaning there is no child or forced labor.

“We have only ONE planet Earth! It's time that we all wake up and make better choices. Let's respect our planet and treat it with love and care. Mankind have been using natural organic cotton for 1,000 years.” Henriette said. “But with the manipulation and industrialization of cotton have a huge impact in our lives, health and our future. It’s about time us designers offer sustainable and organic solutions to our fashion customers.”

Click below to watch the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) explanatory video: