Cotton production is inherently non-impactful on the environment. Since this type of textile is a natural fiber, it is biodegradable, and it doesn’t fill up waterways or contribute to other forms of pollution.
However, the practices that manufacturers use to make cotton may be harmful to the environment. Cotton cultivation requires a huge amount of water, and producing this textile may also involve land repurposing.
Since most cotton producers focus on cultivating the largest amount of fiber possible at the lowest cost, they don’t properly care for the land they use for cultivation. As a result, cotton cultivation frequently depletes the soil in the areas where it is grown. Most cotton producers worldwide resort to agrochemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers, to grow their crops. These harmful chemicals run off into the surrounding water, poison the soil, and end up being present in potentially dangerous concentrations in end products.
In the vast majority of instances, cotton cultivation is an exploitative practice in which international corporations take advantage of poor, uneducated people in third-world countries to produce these fibers. This practice is harmful to communities, and it supports a cycle of poverty that results in reduced life expectancy and multiple succeeding generations of servitude.
It’s possible, however, to cultivate cotton with organic means. Organic cultivation processes do not involve any artificial pesticides or fertilizers, which reduces the environmental impact of the production of this textile fiber.
To be certified as organic, cotton cultivators must also promote sustainability within the communities where they operate. Workers who produce organic cotton must be compensated fairly, and environmental degradation must be kept to a minimum. Certain kinds of cotton, such as Supima cotton, are only available in organic forms.
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