Cotton is arguably the best textile—it is soft enough on the skin to clothe newborn babies, yet is also sturdy and easy to clean. Because it is a natural material, however, it is being supplanted by synthetics, which are inferior in many ways but can be made cheaply. This is bad news not only for those around the world who rely on cotton in their everyday lives, but also for the farmers and manufacturers who produce the textile. If you would like to join the effort to preserve the integrity of the cotton industry, supporting fair trade efforts is integral.
Cotton Producers Face Serious Challenges
Seventy countries are responsible for generating the world’s cotton. Among the most prominent producers are the United States, Central and West African countries, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, and India. While historically cotton has been highly profitable, in the past few decades it has experienced a decline. This is due in large part to the increased use of cheaper, synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. As a result of this decline, cotton producers have suffered substantially, as they can no longer expect fair values for their work.
Fair Trade Standards Help Producers’ Profitability
The production of cotton involves not only manufacturing plants, but also small, family-run operations; across the globe, approximately 100 million households make their living from this industry. Fair trade standards help these families by ensuring that prices are set at a minimum that will not only keep the industry profitable, but will also cover the costs associated with sustainable production.
Fair Trade Members Enjoy Additional Benefits
Beyond the minimum price standards, fair trade producers enjoy many benefits that improve their quality of life. Fair trade members have access to health services and education, as well as loans and chances to invest in processing equipment. These efforts ensure that cotton-producing households remain out of poverty and have a real chance at improving both their businesses and the lives of their families.
By supporting fair trade cotton, you can feel confident that you are not only purchasing the best quality cotton, but are also contributing to environmentally sustainable growing and manufacturing practices.
Article Submitted By Community Writer