The White Side of Cotton

Cotton is one of the earliest and most important agriproducts to be grown by farmers around the world because it is the first plant to have been processed as a fibre.

Cotton was first grown in India around 5000 years ago and archaeological research shows that cotton is one of the oldest fabrics, first being produced around 3000 years ago. As the demand for cotton has been historically very high, producers had to come up with methods to meet people's needs. In order to do this, they tried to produce more goods by using chemical fertiliser and pesticides to protect their products from insects. In order to cut costs, cotton producers commonly paid farm labourers an unfair wage. Unfortunately, these methods are still commonly used today.

The humanity which destroys its own home

The most significant impact of these methods for nature is that farming land is being destroyed by using chemical fertilisers. The pesticides pollute the water and waste water resources as they cause the soil to dry out and need more water.

This kind of overproduction ultimately means much more waste and rubbish for nature which is causing a threat to water resources and the life of marine animals. Furthermore, these pesticides are easily absorbed by our skin from our clothes and can give rise to lymphoma or other sorts of cancer. The situation of the labourers in the cotton fields is particularly terrible.

Statistics show that around 20.000 cotton pickers are dying from chemical fertiliser poisoning every year around the world. In short, these cotton-producing conditions are very harmful for the world and are as deathly as COVID-19, which, in recent weeks, all of us are staying at home to avoid catching.

So what can we do?

It's quite simple. We can use the power of consumption. Generally, we do not care about what the production style is when we purchase something; the producers impose the production style that is profitable. If we choose organic cotton products rather than traditional cotton products, we can put pressure on the producers to change the cotton production conditions and in this way, we can prevent the excessive consumption of water and agricultural areas thus protecting the health of both cotton workers and our children. Organic cotton producers use ecological and sustainable methods. They do not use pesticides and they refuse to use chemical fertilisers to increase the amount of product. Over the years, they have grown different crops other than cotton and have helped to prevent damage to the soil by using product rotation.

Organic farming producers also demonstrate to us that using this type of method can be done without destroying nature. We must support these producers in order to secure our children's future and protect our water resources and agricultural areas.