Five Alternatives to Conventional Cotton

organic cotton from ten14 organic textiles

We talked yesterday about the dirty side of conventional cotton, but what’s a green crafter to do?

Conventional cotton comes with quite a bit of not-so-eco baggage. It uses a lot of pesticides to grow, which is bad for workers and for the planet. It’s often genetically modified, and its social impact isn’t so hot, either. If you missed yesterday’s post, which went into these issues in a bit more detail, you can check it out here.

OK, so you’re ready to stock up on some eco-friendly alternatives, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. Don’t fret! We’ve got you covered with five alternatives that you can feel good about buying.

1. Organic cotton

If you absolutely want to keep crafting with cotton, there are lots of organic alternatives out there. By definition, organics can’t be genetically modified, and they must be grown in a way that’s not harmful to the planet. Organic cotton is better for farmers, it’s better for farm workers, and it’s healthier for you as a crafter. What a win!

Organic cotton can be pricier than its non-organic counterpart. This can be a bit of a shock, and I think it’s important to remember that we get what we pay for. You want things grown responsibly, and this is a case where I think opting for quality over quantity can make a really big difference. We’ve covered a ton of eco-friendly organic cotton options in the past, but here are a few:

Next >> Hemp

[Photo by Becky Striepe]

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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  1. I agree about the bad side if cotton, but for some of us going organic is just not an option financially. I believe it is ok to use cotton, but use it well – ie. sew your own clothes, make them well so they last, and when you are finished with them pass them on or recycle into something else. Buy second hand clothes – buy second hand clothes and up cycle them, you can make some great original stuff. I guess what I am saying is that if we have to use cotton, use it till its just threads and never let it hit landfill. Don’t all the ‘bad’ stuff that had to happen to make the cotton be in vain!

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