This week, World Cotton Day shines a spotlight on the world‘s most important natural fiber. Launched by six international organizations – ICAC, FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UNIDO and WTO – in 2019, World Cotton Day has become a global phenomenon and is celebrated all over the world, especially since the United Nations reserved 7 October as World Cotton Day on its permanent calendar.
The main event for World Cotton Day 2023 will take place already on October 4, 2023, at the UN headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The title of the event is „Cotton fair and sustainable for all, from farm to fashion“. It is co-hosted by the secretariats of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the participation of other cotton-related institutions.
Importance of Cotton for Economy, Trade and Poverty Reduction
Cotton is the most important natural fiber in the fashion and textile industry. The cultivation of cotton provides a living, if not a livelihood, for countless people worldwide.
“We want to increase the visibility of the cotton sector in the textile chain. At the same time, we turn our attention to the importance of cotton for a country‘s economy, the international trade and poverty alleviation,“ said Jean-Paul Haessig, President of the Bremen Cotton Exchange. “We want to raise awareness to the fact that also a large part of high-quality cotton comes from developing countries. There, cotton cultivation makes a crucial contribution to livelihoods. Every single piece of cotton textile deserves our appreciation, because many people from all over the world are involved with their handiwork.“
Cotton is one of the most widely used fibers for the fabrics in our closets. It is comfortable, breathable, very durable and biodegradable. Who does not know cotton T-shirts, cotton shirts, and the absolute star among textile products, jeans. In addition, cotton can be found in fluffy towels, curtain fabrics, bed linen, and many other products, even skin care products. The precious oil that can be extracted from the seeds of the plant is used in the cosmetics and food industries.
Cotton is the most important natural fiber in the textile sector. However, it is much more than a raw material for fashion, textiles and other products. Cotton is also an agricultural product that provides the basis of livelihood for many people.
Around 150 million people in nearly 80 countries on five continents earn their living in some way from growing and preparing cotton for the textile chain. This means that every piece of cotton clothing starts with the personal story of a farmer.
Cotton Provides Economic Development
For developed economies, cotton is already an important product, but for the least developed countries, it is a safety net. Cotton provides employment and income in some of the world‘s poorest rural areas. Cotton is an important source of livelihood and income for many smallholder farmers. Around the equator in semi-arid regions, where hardly any other crop can be produced economically successful, that is where cotton grows as a cash crop.
World Cotton Day initiated by the African “Cotton Four“
World Cotton Day aims to highlight the importance of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The idea was born in 2019 when four cotton producers from sub-Saharan Africa – Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, known as the “Cotton Four“ – proposed to the World Trade Organization to celebrate World Cotton Day on October 7. This was also intended to be a reminder of the need for fair international cotton trade.
Find more information on the websitewww.worldcottonday.com
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