Cotton cultivation and its varieties can look very diverse in different parts of the world. For an overview of cotton cultivation practices, to see which varieties are existing and for getting summarised information about fibre properties, click here.
The environmental and social impacts of cotton have been in the news for many years now. Some of these stories maintain in the public image, although many things have changed. For a summary of the most relevant aspects of the environmental and social implications of cotton production click here.
Many stages are required to process cotton from fibres to the final fabrics. Behind even a simple textile product there might be a rather complex processing and manufacturing chain. Moreover most of the textiles are not even produced from only one origin of fibres.
An insight into the most usual processing steps and some corresponding pictures are presented here
Cotton is the main traded agricultural raw material. It is produced in all continents, but also shipped to all continents: Its pathways of trade are complex and in most cases not transparent.
An overview about the cotton world market is given here
There are several initiatives in the cotton sector trying to reduce negative impacts of cotton production on the environement and the producers. Although the thematic or geographic focus of the different initiatives may vary, it is important for consumers to know, that they can influence the way of cotton production with the choice of products stemming from one of these various efforts to improve the environmental or social soundness of the cotton fibre.
The major initiatives are explained here
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"Forstering the Uptake of Organic Cotton in the Market" held in October 2016 (summary in the library)