As you read this, the cotton harvest is winding down in the southernmost part of the United States' cotton belt and about to kick into high gear in the more northern areas. In India, cotton harvest is just getting started. So, it seemed like the perfect time for us to take a look at cotton – organic cotton in particular – and talk about some of the reasons it's among our favorite fibers.
Cotton is one of the most versatile fibers we know. It's absorbent, breathable, soft, durable, it takes dye beautifully and it can be knit or woven to create an almost endless array of fabrics.
Organic cotton combines all that goodness with the bonus of being kind to the planet and to the people who farm and process the fiber, as well as those who use the end products of all that hard work: you and me.
From the Field…
To be labeled organic, cotton must be grown according to the National Organic Program run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The organic farming standard for fiber, like that for growing food crops, requires that only natural and non-toxic fertilizers and other agricultural inputs are used.
This results in more fertile soil, cleaner water, a healthier environment for farmers and their surrounding communities, and healthier products for consumers, too.
To the Factory….
But "organic" doesn't stop in the field. Once certified-organic cotton is harvested, it’s kept separate from conventional cotton, and when it reaches the factory, there are strict guidelines—provided by organizations including the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) and Oeko-Tex—that address how that fiber is treated during yarn spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing, as well as cutting and sewing. This careful oversight ensures that the least harmful substances are used throughout the entire lengthy manufacturing process that leads to a finished sheet or towel.
From our Source…
Coyuchi sources organic cotton products mainly from India and Turkey, with a few items coming from Germany and Portugal. All of these countries have long histories of cotton production, in particular the high-quality, long-staple cotton we use for our bedding. Most of the cotton grown in the US is short-staple cotton, mainly used for apparel, and the lack of cut-and-sew facilities in the US means we'd have to ship the cotton overseas for production and then back again, which would increase our carbon footprint by several shoe sizes.
All of the cotton fiber we use conforms to the USDA Organic certification and the factories that make our cotton products are certified by GOTS or Oeko-Tex. In addition, we practice sourcing our products from factories that recycle water, conserving and protecting one of the world's most precious resources.
To Your Home.
Our commitment to careful sourcing means that every cotton product you purchase from Coyuchi has been made—start to finish, farm to factory, seed to sewing machine – with the utmost respect for the environment. And that means great things for the environment inside your home, as well.
For more information about Coyuchi's organic cotton products, organic certification and more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on our website.