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Organic cotton is a highly natural and biodegradable fibre, which keeps the adverse impacts of toxic pesticides in check. The biggest beneficiary of organic cotton is cotton producers themselves, especially in developing countries where the environmental impact of using pesticides is openly felt. This blog will cover a short history of how organic cotton originated and evolved to replace traditional cotton types over the years.
Organic cotton, according to most reliable historical sources, is believed to have been first grown in the Indus delta. Therefore, the cultivation of cotton dates back as early as 6000 BC, with the first traces of it found in India and Pakistan. By the 1st century, Cotton products were brought to the European countries of Italy and Spain by the Arab traders who introduced organic cotton in the medieval era. .
Cultivated without using any fertilizers or pesticides, organic cotton spread throughout the warmer regions in America and Asia during the close of the 16th century. Non-genetically modified plants were used to produce organic cotton in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Nubia.
Organic cotton was introduced in Africa in the 18th century and spread to the sub-continent – India, Pakistan and then China. Traditional varieties soon gave way to organic cotton types. But it was during the Industrial revolution, following the invention of the spinning machine and cotton gin, that the production of organic cotton gained greater currency.
After disappearing from the commercial market for nearly a century, naturally coloured cotton made a dramatic comeback as a fashion statement in the early 1990s and cemented its place firmly as sustainable fashion clothing. The use of organic cotton has considerably reduced the amount of insecticides and pesticides inhaled by farmers and cultivators all over the world. Most fashion brands nowadays have switched to environmental friendly materials and repositioned themselves to offer sustainable fashion. Another spin-off is that the technique is now increasingly being deployed on wool and linen.
A lot of brands have followed suit and taken the ‘organic’ route. As discussed in the previous posts, the benefits are lot many and overweigh the cost involved in manufacturing the fabric. Organic cotton fabric has survived the tides of history into the present day whereby it has made the world a better place to live.