Friday, 1 July 2011

RESOURCES | The True Cost of Cotton

As I'm sure you've gathered, we're all about promoting ethical materials, but do you really know what is going on even before the yarns are spun into thread?


Cotton is one of the most commonly used natural fibres in clothes; primarily because it is lightweight, soft and absorbent.

But, did you know it uses 25% of the worlds supply of pesticides, but only accounts for a mere 2% of crops grown world wide?  The nature of cotton being eaten by insects means farmers need to use extra pesticides to prevent this.


Ok, so those of us who are a little more "in the know" about eco materials, probably know these facts already; but do you know what happens in the countries that mass produce cotton?  Take the example, Uzbekistan, a small country situated near Afghanistan and Iran. With the GDP$3100 per capita, run by a group of dictating elites, the poor stay poor and the rich get richer.   It was around 2007, when their unethical and unsustainable production was exposed:

Uzbekistan's main exports include cotton, gold, uranium and natural gas; and cotton takes up 1.3 million hectares of their land producing 1 million tonnes to be sent to manufacturers overseas, who make the clothes for our high street brands.  During harvest time, students are forced to stop studies to help harvest the crops as farmers, and the government refuse to invest in machinery to harvest them.  The environmental damages, lead to morbid social consequences: The Aral sea has been all but eradicated due to the water needed to sustain cotton production and the remaining land is contaminated with salt and pesticide residues.  The diseases caused by the pesticide contaminated dust, include tuberculosis and cancer.


For the full story and video, check out this resource, that explains more in depth, just how the Uzbekistan citizens are suffering from this business:

http://www.offsetwarehouse.com/resources/view/317/the-true-cost-of-cotton


PLEASE support organic cotton, and prevent the continuation of this kind of behaviour in countries similar to Uzbekistan.

Follow Offset Warehouse for more resources on all things ethical and visit Offset Warehouse.com for more information on different materials.

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