SPONSORED | 88% of polled shoppers don’t know what organic is; but 72% know it’s important

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Look out for labels to ensure what you are buying is certified organic – better for humans and for the planet. Photo: Shutterstock
Look out for labels to ensure what you are buying is certified organic – better for humans and for the planet. Photo: Shutterstock


Increasingly, many of us ask, “Where does it come from?” before we put our hands in our pockets to purchase. However, knowing how to read labels correctly to make informed decisions can be tricky, as a recent survey found.

The survey, featuring 206 South African consumers from different demographics, found that, of the sample, 88% didn’t know what “organic” was, while 72% would pay more for products that were certified organic, as they believed this was important.

What came through strongly in the survey is that people don’t always understand what organic means or immediately know how to identify certified organic products over those that simply make unsubstantiated “green” claims. This is why companies that are committed to providing products that are certified organic need to help consumers better navigate the labelling.

Dove, South Africa’s number one cotton wool brand, produces products from 100% pure, certified organic cotton.

However, from those surveyed, it is apparent that people’s understanding of organic differs widely. Of the sample, 13% do not know what organic cotton is, while 35% understand it to contain no artificial chemicals or additives and 27% believe that the product is grown naturally. A further 13% believe that it means grown organically or to be unprocessed, while 10% understand that it means to be grown without pesticides or fertilisers and 8% feel that it means it is environmentally friendly. A further 7% say it is safer for the skin.

This is why Dove is helping consumers understand the labels when it comes to organic cotton, so they can make informed choices for their families based on globally certified practices.


Organic cotton is grown in accordance with the principles of organic agriculture – in which no synthetic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms are used in production.

Organic agriculture prioritises environmental sustainability and social responsibility in every step of the process – meaning the methods used for growing, harvesting, treating and processing organic cotton are sustainable and ethical – for the environment and for people.


Unlike many other brands that claim to be organic or not to contain any harmful substances, Dove Cotton’s organic products are certified to the highest global standards, including the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. The GOTS is a body that sets strict requirements for the entire organic textile supply chain and is adhered to globally, while the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 provides assurance that the products are thoroughly tested and do not contain any harmful substances.

In fact, Dove Cotton products meet the requirements of Oeko-Tex Standard 100 product class 1, which includes products for babies, and has the strictest requirements and limit values.

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