The History of Cotton
In order to understand what exactly is organic cotton, we will present shortly the history of cotton on planet Earth. Now we will take you back 7,000 years when the first cotton seed was found.
- The first time cotton was used for the textile industry dates back approx. 5,000 years.
- Even though the first traces were discovered in Asia, cotton comes from what is today known as Pakistan.
- Linen was known as the worlds most common fiber for thousands of years, then came the cotton.
- In 1793, Eli Whitney (American) created a machines called “The cotton gin” which revolutionized the textile industry, as this machine separated the cotton seeds from the fiber that grows around it.
- This technological machine dramatically increased the speed of which the cotton was used to be harvest back then and the costs of production, making it the dominant fiber used in the industry.
- The invention of the cotton gin machinery resulted in the region becoming more dependent on plantations of fiber and growth of slavery, leading to the First Industrial Revolution*
- From 700,000 cotton production in 1790 increased to 3,2 million in 1850.
The Impact of Cotton on The Environment
- Cotton needs to grown in dry regions & needs lots of water.
- More than half of the cotton production is taking place in areas with high (13,5%) or very high (43%) levels of water –stress.
- 99,3% of world’ cotton production is grown with chemicals (synthetic pesticides & fertilizers &/or GMO** seeds).
- In developing countries cotton uses half of all the insecticides existing on the market, making it the fourth largest pesticide consumer.
- 60% of the cotton in the USA is grown under monoculture*** methods.
- The stages of the supply chain tremendously affect the environment (processing, dyeing, weaving, knitting, growing fibres, etc.).
The Impact of Cotton on Society
- 250 million people work for the cotton production worldwide.
- 99% of the cotton is produced in developing countries on land sometimes smaller than 1 acre (4,000 m2).
- Forced labour & child labour for harvesting the cotton in countries like Uzbekistan, India, China, Brazil, Turkey is a widespread norm.
- Because these countries are very poor, the labour regulations, health & safety standards are not strong enough to protect the workers, resulting in a very big treat for the individual.
*First Industrial Revolution = evolution to new manufacturing processes between 1760 up to 1840.
**GMO = genetically modified seeds.
***Monoculture = replanting the same type of crop over and over again, resulting in the soil loosing its nutritional richness, becoming vulnerable to erosion & to attacks of the insects /& weeds.
Our mission is to positively contribute to a new status quo that stops this madness and starts to contribute to a healthy planet a healthy lifestyle and a positive future for our generation and those to come.