- Christina Dymiotis
- 4th October 2021
When? Where? How? Why?
World Cotton Day (WCD) was first set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on October 7, 2019, hence it is observed globally every year on that day. WCD Day was initiated by the Group of Cotton-4 countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to reflect the importance of cotton as a global commodity.
The international day aims to celebrate the advantages of cotton, ranging from its qualities as a natural fibre to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption.
The Discover Natural Fibres Initiative says about 150 million people in about 80 countries worldwide make a living from cotton. Hence, it is vital to understand the importance of Cotton and appreciate and respect the hard work that’s been put into its production.
Here are some important facts about cotton from the ICAC (International Cotton Advisory Committee):
• 50% of the world’s cotton crop is grown using rainfall, alone
• Cotton degrades at a significantly faster rate than polyester in aquatic environments
• Beyond textile fibre, every harvest provides cotton seed for cooking oil and livestock feed, plus linters and woody burr which has many industrial applications
• Cotton harvesting provides sustainable and decent employment to people across the globe.
Why is it important to purchase Fairtrade Organic Cotton?
The growing of organic cotton uses materials and methods that have a low impact on the environment. Organic cotton is grown without using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers which are usually washed into nearby watercourses and are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers.
There are also no genetically modified elements allowed in the growing of organic cotton eliminating the risk to humans and wildlife and stopping the unnecessary financial expense to farmers.
Organic Cotton doesn’t just mean it’s grown organically, the whole supply chain needs to be processed in such a way that it is considered suitable. The GOTS standard ensures that the chemicals used in processing the textiles meet strict guidelines on toxicity and biodegradability.
Factory conditions, both in the UK and abroad, need to meet strict standards as unfortunately poor working conditions in the textile industry overseas are commonplace. GOTS processors must meet the social criteria listed on the International Labour Organisations conventions which include minimum wages, working hours, condemnation of child labour and harsh or inhumane treatments.
Cotton > Any Other Synthetic Textile
With increasing attention to global environmental change, 86% of consumers across the world are concerned about sustainability, and this concern has only grown in the past year (Cotton World). For this reason, companies like ours are offering products that are made from materials that are natural and safe for the environment. Here, are some recent statistics regarding consumer’s perceptions regarding cotton according to the Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated’s Global Lifestyle Monitor Survey 2018:
93% of consumers think better quality garments are made from natural fibers such as cotton.
91% view cotton as a sustainable fiber option.
77% prefer cotton over synthetics in their textiles.
81% of consumers say cotton/cotton blend is their favourite fibre to wear.
90% of consumers say cotton is safe for the environment.
Cotton and Water
Growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fibre production; one kilogram of cotton takes as much as 10,000-20,000 litres of water to produce. The majority of cotton is grown in countries that are already facing severe water stress. However, not all cotton is the same. Organic cotton is grown using techniques that save significant amounts of water - a life cycle analysis found that organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91% compared to conventionally grown cotton (Soil Association).
BIDBI and 100% Natural Cotton
Here at BIDBI we work solely with Fairtrade factories in India to produce our cotton totes, which are then printed in the UK. BIDBI’s 100% natural cotton bags act as a sustainable alternative to single use plastic bags.
We have always been a company that promoted the use of sustainable materials to change opinions and perceptions of how easy it is to start buying more eco-friendly products, it is at our core that it shouldn’t be a hard task to become sustainable. We want to reduce the number of plastic bags that are used by consumers, by providing high-quality reusable cotton tote bags and working with businesses to sell them we are reducing the reliance on single use plastic bags.
As a GOTS certified company, BIDBI understands the importance of preserving and harvesting cotton especially organic cotton. Thus, we are celebrating #WorldCottonDay with companies and professional bodies around the world to raise awareness of the significance of choosing 100% natural cotton.
Choose Natural Cotton this October!