Behind the cotton industry
Did you know about the non-organic cotton industry? It takes 10,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of cotton. Global cotton production requires over 250 billion tons of water annually.
What does this mean? Cotton production has been making a whole sea disappear...
There is the Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake on the planet, however now virtually gone... The main reason is cotton cultivation.
It has been called one of the planet's worst environmental disasters by the UN.
Deadly dust from cotton chemicals.
Instead of the lake, 43 million tons of pesticide-laden dust is blown into the air each year. The Aral Sea region suffers from the highest rates of throat cancer on the planet - representing 80% of the cases of cancer.
We consume “virtual” water through your cotton clothing.
It takes 10,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of cotton, meaning it takes about 2,700 litres to make 1 cotton t-shirt. Can you believe it?!
When we purchase non-organic cotton clothing we, therefore “take” water from wherever the cotton was grown and produced.
This is referred to as “virtual” water - when you use water around the world as a result of your consumption. But to be clear, the virtual water is very real:
"The water consumed to grow India’s cotton exports in 2013 would be enough to supply 85% of the country’s 1.24 billion people with 100 litres of water every day for a year. Meanwhile, more than 100 million people in India do not have access to safe water."
- The Guardian, 20 March 2015
I think we should start caring about things that we don't see. People are suffering from what we choose.
So, what can we do? Buy less and choose organic cotton. Organic cotton has a 91% lower water consumption than cotton grown with heavy use of pesticides.
Also, organic cotton has:
- 62% lower energy demand
- 46% lower CO2-emissions
- 26% lower soil erosion
Let's choose organic if you can.
Our tiny decisions make an impact if we do together.