Cotton is the most used of all natural materials and is knows for its multi-functionality, strength and softness. More than 99% of all cotton is grown using conventional methods with high amounts of pesticides and insecticides. Organically grown cotton is a much better alternative, it has the same quality as conventional cotton but it is grown without chemical fertiliser and pesticides. Best is to use organic cotton from farms that practice regenerative agriculture. Organic cotton is grown from non GMO-seeds and the amount of water needed can be reduced to 71%. Fair Trade-certified organic cotton is the best alternative for social sustainability as it guarantees good conditions for the workers and farmers. Organic cotton should have certification and proof of origin. Certifications GOTS and OCS 100(Organic Content Standard) are good, but always question the origin of the material and ask for regeneratively grown organic cotton.

bergstrand material GUIDE ranking*

The ranking of cotton depends on the way of farming. Conventional farmed cotton is discouraged, regeneratively and organically grown is preferred.


Approved materials may be less expensive than preferred materials, but may not be as ethical or sustainable in their production. While approved materials are not considered the best option, they may be used in clothing production as long as certain standards and guidelines are followed.
* The Bergstrand Material Guide Ranking is only a guide. Our consultants can help with accurate assessments of your brand’s use of materials.
Photography credit:
Karl Wiggers

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