Cotton farming has lead to growing worries about it's environmental impacts, with a strong concern for it's water intensive nature.
Being the world's most widespread profitable none food crop, it's production provides income for more than 250 million people across the world, and employs almost 7% of all labour in developing countries. Additionally, it provides many negative impacts on both the environment and the economy.
As stated by the WWF, Cotton is one of the world's thirstiest crops, in fact it takes 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1 kilogram of cotton. That is enough for just 1 pair of Jeans and 1 t-shirt. Because of this incredibly high usage, cotton farming is leading to the loss of fresh water sources in developing countries.
Cotton farming requires a substantial use of pesticides which pose a huge risk towards water sources. In fact, cotton farming accounts for 16% of all the pesticides used worldwide. Pesticides threaten the quality of both soil and water sources, therefore meaning any fields and rivers downstream are also contaminated. Additionally, pesticides pose risks to the health of farmers and nearby populations, as 1-3% of workers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning, with at least 1 million being hospitalised every year.
To find out more about what can be done to help reduce the impact of cotton farming visit WWF HERE
By Founder & CEO Megan Hinchcliffe