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 of the raw material to the $294bn global textile trade and the $412bn clothing industry. 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. 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.