The world is facing a climate crisis, with water scarcity as one of the top ten global risks to society.
Our new report highlights the disastrous impact of cotton farming on water.
But organic cotton offers a solution to the water crisis, and a path towards a better future.
One kilogram of cotton takes as much as 20,000 litres of water to produce, but our report shows that going organic can make a significant difference that saves precious water.
Non-organic cotton is:
A thirsty crop
Growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fibre production. The majority of cotton is grown in countries already facing water stress.
A dirty crop
Cotton accounts for 16% of all insecticides used globally. Many of these hazardous synthetic pesticides are washed into our waters and soils, causing serious problems to animals and humans.
Fashion to dye for
20% of global water pollution is a result of dyeing textiles. Exposure to these chemicals cause long term complications to humans and animals.
Organically grown cotton meets strict social and environmental criteria and works holistically with people and the planet.
Our report shows that organic is the only system which eliminates toxic substances, requires significantly less water and has many social, economic and environmental benefits.
These 5 key benefits are:
1. Saves Precious Water
2. Combats Climate Change
3. Helps Farmers Feed Their Families
4. Gives Control to Farmers, Not GM Companies
5. Eliminates Hazardous Synthetic Pesticide Use
The Aral Sea, located on the boarder of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, was once the fourth largest inland body of water. A thriving fishing community lived along the coastline but today it is a toxic wasteland.
Cotton farming has reduced the Aral Sea by 90%, with the majority of water used to irrigate cotton crops.
This has resulted in the loss of 24 species of fish and a widespread disappearance of native animals and plants.
Dried pesticide residue left on the surface of the sea has blown toxic dust storms into the surrounding area causing deaths due to lung disease and throat cancer.
The Soil Association is the leading voice for organic textiles and publishes many papers, briefings and reports each year.
Download our most recent reports below.