Organic cotton is grown and processed without the use of toxic and persistent synthetic chemicals in the cotton itself and in the environment according to the specification that regulates biological certification
The pesticide function is replaced by the manual elimination or breeding of birds and other insects that are enemies of the weeds, or in any case using pesticides of natural origin.
In addition to the ban on the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, organic cotton, to be called such, must not come from genetically modified seeds (GMOs). In Europe, the regulation governing the production of organic cotton is the EC Regulation No. 834/2007 of 28 June 2007.
In 2014 a study on the life cycle of organic cotton (Life Cycle Assessment LCA) compares the data on organic cotton production with those related to the production of conventional cotton. The results underline the reduction of the environmental impact of organic cotton compared to the chemical one, in fact the probability of contributing to global warming is reduced by 46%. Specifically, the cultivation of organic cotton reduces the consumption of water by 91%; 62% of primary energy consumption; 26% eutrophication (accumulation of pesticides in the surrounding waters); 70% of the emissions causing acidification