October 7, 2021 is World Cotton Day and it seemed like the better excuse to finally get myself back to writing something for this neglected website. I routinely think I should write something about…. And then I get pulled back into my day job or something I was already in the midst of. But today, World Cotton Day stopped me in my tracks and made me open the browser.
World Cotton Day Theme
The proliferation of days to acknowledge one topic, industry, group gets a bit overwhelming at times. Yet, the reality is, there are so many things happening that simply tagging a specific day to consider a topic that few give thought to can make a difference. And for those who are involved in the topic at much greater depth, this year the theme the UN set was “Cotton for Good.”
If you read much on this site, you know there are a range of factors that can get connected to something that many of us don’t give a thought to as something that starts as a plant and ends up as fabric. But cotton is amazingly good in so many ways!
One of the things that this theme does is really show some differences among countries about the role cotton plays. For some countries, cotton is a primary economic driver where as in others it may be a fashion piece more than economics. Cotton really does do it all as this silly meme I created shows.
Cotton and the Environment
As someone who worked at a cotton seed company for years, I’m used to thinking about the origins of cotton. How farmers in the US and the more temperate and tropical countries grow it, tending the soil and stewarding water and more but the product itself has such inherently good qualities too!
A few things I’ll point you to:
- Water Use in Cotton — Sometimes I hear about the amount of water cotton uses, appreciate having good resources on it.
- Does cotton have an after life? — The natural fiber is definitely a boost when you think about how to discard of it. Cotton can break down naturally in the soil AND it can be used to insulate homes too!
Creating Jobs & More
The economic engine of cotton has had some challenges in the US with cheaper, unskilled labor in several countries luring textile jobs from the US, but that could be changing.
We are seeing small niche companies like Red Land Cotton producing heirloom quality sheets and sharing their full supply chain. And major brands like Wrangler have product lines that move through the US cotton industry from farms to textile mills. And we can see the contributions of even small town cotton gins! And farmers who are taking the creative spin to do home decor too!
And it created this little website in my mind and now maybe I can get it back in my weeks!