Cotton is a fiber that grows around the seeds of a cotton plant. The plant is native shrub to subtropical regions including India and Africa. Cotton is the most widely used fiber for clothing in the world and provides thousands of useful products such as towels, robes, bed sheets, demin, and of course dozens of other types of clothing including t-shirts.
Below are some interesting (the good and the bad) facts about cotton.
1. Cotton has been grown for 6,000 years.
2. Cotton accounts for about 40 percent of total world fiber production.
3. There are 35,000 cotton farms in the U.S. and 98% percent of cotton is grown in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. However, the United States is not the number one producer of cotton. . The top five cotton producing countries are China, India, United States, Pakistan and Brazil as number five.
4. U.S. textile mills spin almost 10 million bales a year. One bale of cotton is enough to make 1,217 men’s T-shirts
5. Cotton is a pesticide-intensive crop and uses almost 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides.
6. Fiber for one cotton T-shirt requires 256.6 gallons of water.
7. U.S. farmers receive a $230 subsidy for every acre of cotton. The percent given to cotton growers is five times what farmers receive for cereal crops. This let to 68% of U.S. cotton was exported at prices below production costs. In 2005, The World Trade Organization (WTO) declared that the U.S. farm subsidies were illegal. The WTO argued that the U.S. cotton subsidies distorted global markets that did not save small U.S. farmers and it resulted in environmental damage.
8. There is a 50%+ difference is yields between conventional and organic cotton production. In 2001 was 790 kg per ha for conventional and only 468 kg per ha for organic cotton. (Source: )
9. The U.S. cotton industry accounts for more than $25 billion in products and services annually.
10. Cotton creates over 400,000 jobs in the United States.