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Is Organic Cotton as Good as It Seems?

by Pivotal Digital 03 Feb 2023
Is Organic Cotton as Good as It Seems?

Cotton has long been the most widely used fibre in the textile industry, and it’s something we encounter every day. As the world and consumers make the move towards more sustainable practices, it’s easy to see why organic cotton is experiencing the surge in popularity it is. But is organic cotton as good as it seems?

Organic cotton certainly has benefits over traditional cotton, such as being more sustainable and not using any harsh chemicals or pesticides, but it does take more space and water to grow than traditional cotton does. 

Which type of cotton is best is a nuanced subject that can’t be decided on a single factor. So, let’s look a little deeper into organic cotton, what it does right, and what its shortcomings are. 


Why and How Is It Better for the Environment?

We know that organic cotton is better for the environment than cotton produced in the conventional why, but why exactly is that?

On the outside, it’s hard to tell the difference between the finished product, but there are distinct differences between organic and conventional cotton that show why exactly organic cotton is the better choice for the environment.

The four biggest benefits organic cotton has for environmental sustainability are:

  • Fewer chemicals and pesticides
  • Sustainability 
  • Durability 
  • Worker health 


Farmer spraying pesticides on a field

Chemicals and Pesticides 

Pesticides and other chemicals used in conventional farming have so many downsides that it’s incredible that they are still used so often. While pesticides keep insects from destroying crops and affecting the bottom line for farmers, they just aren’t worth the trouble they cause.

Pesticides can leach into the soil and groundwater, and affect the health of field workers - pesticide tolerance has become a real problem.

Because organic cotton doesn’t use these harsh pesticides or chemicals, it has a 46% reduction in global warming potential and a 70% reduction in acidification potential. Acidification is the leading cause of acid rain.



Organic cotton is more sustainable for quite a few reasons, but the biggest is that it doesn’t damage the land, so that land can be grown on again and again.

Harsh farming practices and the use of fertilisers and pesticides can decimate farmland, making it all but useless after a few growing cycles. With organic cotton, this isn’t the case, and that land can be used be repeatedly. 



We’ve mentioned the use of harsh chemicals quite a bit, but the truth is that the use of these chemicals has more downsides than you might realise. Many dyes and other treatments used in traditional cotton can degrade the fibres of the fabric, which means it won’t last as long as organic cotton.

Organic cotton is more durable than conventional cotton because it hasn’t been treated with anything to weaken the fibres of the fabric. 


Worker Health

Many fertilisers and pesticides are harmful not just to the cotton itself, but to the health of those working in the cotton fields. Organic cotton is much safer for workers to farm than traditionally grown cotton. 

It isn’t even just the workers, who are in close contact with the pesticides and fertilisers, that are affected. Once these chemicals seep into the groundwater, they can be accidentally ingested by those living near the cotton fields. Since organic cotton skips these chemicals, it’s safer for everyone involved. 


A field of organic cotton

Is All Organic Cotton the Same?

Although organic cotton is better for the environment, it isn’t all created equally.

Sustainable growing practices are significant steps to reduce global warming and other negative effects on the Earth. Still, it’s also important that those sustainable practices carry over to the treatment of the cotton after it’s grown. 

Products made from organic cotton are usually marked with something on the label designating them as organic, but this just means that they were grown organically. The manufacturing process, including dyeing, could be done in a non-sustainable fashion and the seller would still be able to call the product organic because of the way it was grown.

This is why, when you’re looking at organic cotton products to buy, it’s important to choose a product that is GOTS (Global organic textile standard) certified. 

Products that are GOTS certified are produced sustainably from growth, through manufacturing, all the way up to when they are sold. GOTS certified products, like Mey, are made in such a way that they are better for the environment every step of the way, not just the growing process.


What Is the Difference Between Organic and Normal Cotton?

Normal cotton and organic cotton seem very similar, but the differences lie in how they are grown and manufactured. 

The biggest differences between organic and normal cotton are:

  • Pesticides/fertilisers: Organic cotton has not been treated with any pesticides or fertilisers during the growing process.
  • Genetic modification: Normal cotton can be genetically modified, making it a GMO. Organic cotton is never genetically modified. 

We’ve discussed how organic cotton isn’t grown with the use of any pesticides or fertilisers, but unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is also not genetically modified. GMOs have a terrible wrap in the public eye, and it’s important for many consumers to only purchase products that aren’t GMO. 

If you want completely natural cotton, then go with organic cotton. That isn’t to say that GMO cotton is completely terrible, though. GMO crops have the potential to be easier to grow, use less water, and have higher yields, which help offset some of the negative environmental impacts of conventional cotton. 

One of the biggest benefits of GMO cotton has over organic cotton is that GMO cotton takes less land to grow than organic cotton. This helps to outweigh how destructive conventional cotton growing can be on farmland.


In Summary 

  • Organic cotton is more environmentally sustainable, safer for workers, and doesn’t have as much of an effect on global warming as conventional cotton.
  • Not all organic cotton is the same. For the most environmentally friendly organic cotton, make sure to get cotton that is GOTS certified. This means it is not only grown in a natural way, but the manufacturing and dyeing processes are also organic.
  • Organic cotton is never genetically modified. GMO products do have some upsides over organic products, but if you’re looking for natural cotton, go organic. 
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Welcome to SocksFox is owned and operated by Zapzero Ltd (referred to in these terms as SocksFox). We provide access to the website ('website') and sell our products to you subject to the following terms and conditions. The following terms and conditions of sale constitute a binding agreement between SocksFox and its customers, which applies to all purchases made on the website, by telephone or email.

  You agree to review these terms and conditions prior to placing future orders to ensure you are aware of the current terms and conditions in place at that time. You agree not to change these terms of sale from the form presented by us. All other terms and conditions including those in any order submitted by you are expressly excluded and shall have no effect.

1. Your Account

When you use the website, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password. You should contact us immediately if you have any reason to believe that your password is being, or is likely to be, used in an unauthorised manner.

Please ensure that the details you provide us with are full and correct. Let us know immediately if any changes need to be made to correct the information you provided on registering.

SocksFox reserves the right to refuse access to the website, terminate an account, remove or edit content, or cancel an order at our discretion. If we cancel an order, any payment made will be returned to you.

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We take the security of our customers and website very seriously. We will only collect information about you that you have specifically and knowingly provided, for example your contact details and card information. This information will be used to deliver your ordered products to you, process your payments and communicate with you about your orders.

Zapzero Ltd, utilises a to offer secure communications by encrypting all data to and from our site. The padlock helps you know that you are on an authenticated legitimate website and that your transactions will be secured.

Your payment details and credit card numbers will only be shared with our payment providers Braintree or PayPal for the purpose of processing your orders. When you place an order via our website SocksFox will not be privy to your credit and debit card information. If you place your order by telephone as soon as your payment has been inputted your card details will be securely destroyed and disposed of. SocksFox does not store any credit or debit card information.

We will only send you our offers and product news by email if you have chosen to opt in. You can remove yourself from our mailing list at any time.

View our Privacy information page for more information.


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SocksFox will send you an order confirmation email confirming receipt and details of your order. Your order represents an offer to SocksFox to purchase a product which is accepted by us when we dispatch that product to you.

Only when we dispatch the goods together with a dispatch note will a binding contract be entered. Any products on the same order which have not been dispatched as yet do not form part of that contract.

You can review the details of the orders you have placed and their current status by logging into Your Account. If you choose to shop as a guest you will not be able to review the details of your current or previous orders. 


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Our email newsletter (usually sent fortnightly) and occasionally the website offer promotions, which may require the use of a discount code. Our policy is that only one discount code to be allowed per order.

All discount codes and product special offers unless stated otherwise, will end at 12 noon GMT or BST (whichever is applicable) on the date specified. For all discount codes and offers the end time is always based on GMT or BST. 

The United Kingdom is the governing jurisdiction for SocksFox.

A SocksFox e-gift card discount code can be used across the site, on one occasion only and is valid for six months from the date of e-gift card dispatch.


5. 60 Day No Quibble Returns

You may return any items purchased from us for whatever reason, even if you just change your mind, as long as you send them back within 60 days of receiving them. Products must be returned in their original condition, unworn with tags attached and the packaging undamaged and complete.

To ensure you order the correct size and colour of an item we would advise the following. As different Countries and Brands have their own size systems, before placing an order we advise that you check the size guide provided for each item in the Size Guide tab to ensure you are ordering the correct size. Colour swatch samples and photographs are provided as a guide only. The colour you see on your screen may not be an accurate representation of the item's actual colour due to inconsistencies in how display screens reproduce colours. Ordering the wrong size or a colour not being to your liking does not mean that the item is classed as being faulty.

The cost of return postage for damaged, faulty items or if we have made an error will be refunded to you. Return postage for items you choose to return will not be refunded.

When returning products we advise you use Royal Mail First or Second Class and obtain proof of postage. If you are returning items from overseas we advise you use the equivalent Airmail service provided by your countries postal service and obtain proof of postage. If you choose to return items by a tracked service or courier you need to gain approval from SocksFox, otherwise we will only refund the amount it would have cost to return the items by Royal Mail First or Second Class or the equivalent Airmail service.

For Customs duties on Returned items please also refer to section 8 Customs of our Terms and Conditions.

Gift cards are non-returnable & cannot be refunded.

For more information on our Returns and Cancellation policy please see here.


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All prices quoted are for new products. All prices are based on the Great British Pound (GBP / £) but, for your convenience, can be displayed in the Euro or US Dollar equivalents at ruling exchange rates on the website.

All payments are processed securely through either Braintree or PayPal. Your order payment will be based on the Great British Pound (GBP) amount. When processing your payment you can choose to pay in an alternative currency, to GBP. In this case the amount to be paid may vary slightly as Braintree and PayPal will apply their own exchange rate.

The prices on our website are the same whether you purchase from within the United Kingdom (UK) or from outside of the UK. Within the UK all prices include VAT. For purchases made outside of the UK prices do not have VAT included; the item price you see is the price you will pay.  

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Whilst we endeavour to ensure all pricing is accurate and correct very occasionally errors may happen. On processing an order if it is realised that the correct price is lower than that stated on the website we will adjust your payment to the lower amount and dispatch your order. If the product's correct price is higher than that stated on the website, we will contact you for instructions before dispatch.


7. Dispatch and Delivery

SocksFox aims to dispatch items the same or next working day. If demand exceeds our stock holding dispatch may be delayed by around 7 working days. If this applies to your order or there is an availability issue we will be in touch by email. At SocksFox, offering an extensive range of styles, colours and sizes at competitive prices to customers in both the UK and Worldwide is what sets us apart from many other retailers. To be able to do this we are unable to hold in stock all items all of the time and in our experience most customers are happy to wait. If immediate dispatch is a priority for you please contact us for current availability.

The postal service selected to deliver your order will be the best one to ensure a successful delivery and a signature may be required as part of that service. All packages are sent using a tracked service. Information on how your package is progressing can be obtained by contacting the SocksFox Customer Service Team.

Estimated Delivery Times: UK Standard Delivery: 2-3 working days; Europe Standard Delivery: 5-7 working days; Rest of the World Delivery: 8-13 working days.

For packages being sent to Europe and the Rest of the World once a package arrives in the destination country for many orders the national postal service will complete the final delivery. If your order has not been delivered by 10 working days from the date of dispatch, 15 working days for Europe & Rest of the World, please contact us and we will look into what has happened to your package.

Whilst most International deliveries are made successfully within the above timeframes unfortunately this is not always the case due to circumstances outside of our control. Sometimes delivery may take up to 6 weeks and for this reason a package is not deemed to be lost until 6 weeks from dispatch have passed.

Non delivery of a package (UK or International) cannot be investigated after 10 weeks from the dispatch date due to carrier tracking limitations. SocksFox will not provide a replacement package or refund if first contact has not been until after 10 weeks from dispatch. 

Any delivery dates are given in good faith. Zapzero Ltd accepts no liability for delays resulting from occurrences outside its control. These include, but are not limited to acts of God, strikes, lockouts and delays by suppliers. Your products will be dispatched to the shipping address as stated in your order confirmation email. It is your responsibility to ensure the shipping address for this order is correct.

It is the customer's responsibility to inform us of any change of delivery address immediately. Unless instructed otherwise your order will be dispatched to the shipping address as shown in the order confirmation email you will have been sent.  SocksFox accepts no liability for dispatch made to the wrong address. Please note that if you request delivery of your order to a designated place (for example in the porch, by the green bin, over the hedge) for if you are out when delivery is attempted and subsequently the order goes missing SocksFox does not accept responsibility for non-receipt.

If delivery of an order is not achieved due to refusal at the delivery destination as nominated by the customer, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.

Please note that due to U.S. Trademark Restrictions we are unable to sell any Burlington items to customers with a U.S. shipping address.

8. Customs

For items ordered for delivery overseas you as the recipient are deemed the importer and you may be liable for local customs, import duties or taxes ('duty'). The amount of duty depends on the type and value of goods and some items can be imported without paying any duty.

For all packages destined for delivery outside of the United Kingdom it is a legal requirement that SocksFox declares the full value of the goods (not including delivery costs).

Each country's customs policies are different and you should contact your local customs office for more information. Any additional costs for clearing customs must be paid by you. Unfortunately we have no control over these costs and cannot predict what they may be.

SocksFox will not be responsible for any local customs, import duties or taxes that may be levied when the goods enter the country of destination.

When returning any goods from overseas, please clearly mark the package on the outside with 'RETURNED GOODS' Unfortunately if any incoming customs charges are incurred as a result of this message not being added a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover the costs incurred by us.

If delivery of a shipment is not possible due to import duties not being paid, when the shipment is returned to us a charge will be deducted from your refund to cover any return costs incurred by us.


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Your statutory rights are not affected by these terms.


10. Zapzero Ltd  

Please do not send any returns to the address below, see here for the SocksFox returns address.

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United Kingdom

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