The production of cotton is a huge global business, involving an estimated 350 million people in over 100 countries. With an annual production figure in excess of 25 million tonnes, cotton has the highest production volume of any natural textile in the world. It remains the fabric of choice for many textile applications, and as such is widely used in the workwear industry.
However, the production and processing of cotton uses a vast amount of water, fertilisers and pesticides – indeed cotton is responsible for more than 15% of global insecticide use, more than any other crop.
By contrast, the use of certified organic cotton offers a number of environmental and economic advantages throughout the supply chain, and allows end-users to promote a strong eco message as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, which reduces the CO2 footprint of the production process as well as avoiding damage to the surrounding eco-system. The harmful effect of some pesticides on humans can also be avoided by going down the organic route, as well as saving the farmers a considerable on-cost in their production process.
The absence of harmful chemicals in organic cotton also means there are no traces or residues of chemicals in the final garments, which might otherwise cause skin irritations or other allergic reactions in some end-users.
The Soil Association certification scheme also takes account of the wellbeing of factory workers involved in the production of organic cotton. The factories must satisfy the requirements of the International labour Organisation(ILO) in terms of their employees’ general wellbeing, wages, working hours, freedom of association, discrimination and the avoidance of child labour.
Here at Pennline we are pleased to offer a number of items manufactured from certified organic cotton, from several different manufacturers. The range includes cotton bags of different sizes and functions, full-length and bib-length aprons, high quality T-shirts, polo shirts and beanie hats.
Choosing organic cotton workwear not only allows you to support the environment and workforce in some of the poorest parts of the world, but also means you can send a strong message to your own workforce and customer base that you are willing to go the extra mile in the protection of our natural ecosystem.