Fairtrade Blog

  • Cotton Kady Waylie

    Cotton farmers paying the price of disposable fashion

    20 April 2015 by Dave Goodyear, Research & Information Manager at Fairtrade Foundation

    With Fashion Revolution Day approaching, Fairtrade is calling for brands to pay the true cost of cotton

    Cotton is big business, supplying 25.8m tonnes[1] of the raw material to the $294bn global textile trade and the $412bn clothing industry.[2] Cotton is grown by huge agri-businesses in the US as well as by close to 100 million rural households in developing countries, a number that’s more than doubled when workers in transportation, ginning, bailing and storage are taken into account.[3] As well as providing rural employment, cotton plays a major role in the economic and social development of low-income countries, accounting for around 63 per cent of Benin’s export and 72 per cent of Burkina Faso’s.[4]  

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