What is 100% organic cotton?
Organic cotton means that the cotton has been grown on fields without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and defoliants. Only natural fertilisers such as compost and animal manure are allowed. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited in organic products.
Organic cotton counts for less than 1% of the total cotton production. 1% is too less. This is why we fight to change the status quo.
The impact of conventional cotton
Water – Today, 1 out of 10 people lack access to safe water, which equals 2.5 times the US population. 20% of industrial fresh water pollution comes from the textile industry. By 2030, our need for water will increase by more than 50% due to the rising population.
Pesticides and fertilisers – Today, conventional cotton covers about 3% of the world’s total cultivated land – and yet it uses about 23% of the world’s consumption of chemicals. With a predicted consumption growth of 63% by 2030, chemical usage is unpredictable.
CO₂ – Today, humans are responsible for dumping more than 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. By 2030, energy emissions will increase by more than 63%.
With the challenges mankind is facing in terms of global warming, growing organic cotton is one answer to reducing the use of chemicals, water and carbon emissions.
What does 100% organic cotton solve?
Water – Worldwide, most organic cotton is grown on rain-fed farms – meaning there is no irrigation. The soil is healthy and holds water 50% better than conventional soil. The water usage in growing organic cotton is 91% lower than that of conventional cotton.
Pesticides and fertilisers
Pesticides and fertilisers – It takes 400 grams of raw cotton to make one T-shirt. One conventional T-shirt contains 165 grams of pesticides and fertilisers. Garments produced with organic cotton contain zero pesticides and fertilisers and have a positive impact on almost 220.000 farmers, their families and your skin.
CO₂ – Growing organic cotton saves 46% of CO₂ compared to conventional cotton.
Our goals at KnowledgeCotton Apparel
Liters of water saved
At KnowledgeCotton Apparel, our goal for 2020 is to save the environment from 2.500.000 litres of water by using organic cotton and sustainable materials.
By the end of 2017, we have reached a total of 1.620.100 litres.
Liters of pesticides and chemicals saved
At KnowledgeCotton Apparel, our goal for 2020 is to save the environment from 800.000 litres of chemicals and pesticides by using organic cotton and sustainable materials.
By the end of 2017, we have reached the total of 526.072 litres of pesticides or fertilisers.
Kilograms of CO₂ saved
At KnowledgeCotton Apparel, our goal for 2020 is to save the environment from 1.300.000 kg of CO₂ by producing organic cotton and sustainable materials.
By the end of 2017, we have reached a total of 775.900 kg of CO₂. The potential saving, compared to conventional cotton, equates to driving a normal car 114 times around the world.
What is PET?
PET is polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic derived from petroleum used to make soft drink bottles. Using recycled PET bottles, we create recycled PET polyester. The quality of recycled polyester is as good as virgin polyester – it is very resilient, quick drying, and easy to wash while keeping its shape.
Impact of human behavior
Over the past 50 years, plastic consumption has increased twenty-fold – from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to currently around 300 million. It has been estimated that this figure will double by 2025.
Every year, approx. 10 million tonnes of plastic waste are making their way into the oceans, the equivalent of one truckload of garbage being tipped into the sea every minute. Plastic waste is almost like an eighth continent, and by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. It will take centuries for this waste to decompose; 450 to 700 years alone for PET bottles.
Positive impact of recycling:
Recycling – KnowledgeCotton Apparel’s goal for 2020 is to have recycled more than 4.5 million plastic bottles. By the end of 2017, we have recycled 1.987.724 plastic bottles.
CO₂ – Compared to the use of virgin polyester, using recycled polyester reduces carbon emissions by 37%.
Did you know? – 25 old PET bottles are transformed into 1 KnowledgeCotton Apparel jacket.
Other sustainable materials
Linen – Linen is a natural textile made from the fibres of the flax plant. Garments have been made from linen for thousands of years and it is one of the oldest fibres used for textile production. Linen is well-known for its strength, absorption and coolness to the touch. Organic linen is grown without any synthetic fertilisers.
Tencel – Tencel is extracted from the raw material of wood. Fibre production is extremely eco-friendly as the wood comes from forest plantations that practice sustainability.
Wool – Most of the wool KnowledgeCotton Apparel uses is certified organic. It is 100% pure new wool from merino sheep. The wool we use is mainly from South America and mulesing-free. We call this wool ‘happy sheep wool’ as it is produced with animal welfare and the biodiversity of land in mind.
No leather – We chose to substitute all leather trims with microfibres in respect for animal kingdom and won’t use any leather products in the future. Besides that, synthetic leather has only 1/3 environmental impact of cow leather.