Textile News

Cleaner Cotton


Cleaning Up Cotton In California.


The Sustainable Cotton Project works with California cotton growers to reduce the harmful impacts of pesticide use from cotton production on the air, water and soil in the region and to market the cotton they grow in the project as Cleaner Cotton™.

Producing Countries (2016/17 unless otherwise stated)

Manufacturing Process


Manufacturing Location


Fiber Production 2016/17 (MT)

699 mt

Growth in production (2016/17 - 2017/18)


Market Share of Total Cotton Grown (2017/18)


Projected growth in production

Projected increase

Yield (see accompanying “TE Position” notes)

Average 748 kg/ha

Rainfed/ Irrigated

100% irrigated

Water Management

Some cotton grown on drip irrigation.

Soil Fertility

Compost and cover crops encouraged to maintain soil health and productivity.


Promotes farming systems that increase beneficial insect habitat and survival.

GMOs Permitted?

Yes, but sold separately from non-GMO

Use of Hazardous Pesticides

Disallows the use of the 11 most toxic chemicals* used in cotton in California – unless pests threaten to cause economic loss, or other lower- risk options are exhausted. IPM and biological alternatives encouraged. Up to 50% reduction in chemical inputs over conventional.

Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

Growers encouraged to adopt biological methods to improve soil quality.

LCA available?


Water Consumption (m3/ 1000kg fiber*) or best practices used to conserve water

No LCA data

Primary Energy Demand MJ /1000 kg fiber *

No LCA data

Global Warming (kg of CO2-eq/ 1000kg fiber*)

No LCA data

Eutrophication (kg of phosphate-eq/ 1000 kg fiber *)

No LCA data

Social considerations / regulations

US cotton growers are all held to high standards by law for worker health and safety.

Verification / Certification (farm level)

2nd party monitoring.

Chain of Custody (supply chain)

Bale identification system – USDA bar code on each bale.

Product marketing/labeling

Marketed and trademarked as Cleaner Cotton™.

Consumer recognition

Yes, consumer messaging via products and website.


A modest price differential is paid directly to the farmer.

Product marketing/labeling

Marketed and trademarked as Cleaner Cotton™.

Quality perception/ implications

No known quality implications.
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