Adverse Effects of the World’s Cotton Industry


  • Madison Harris
  • Laurabeth Ray
  • Madison Qualls


It takes 1,800 gallons of water to create a pair of cotton jeans, a fact that only further solidifies the textile industry as the second largest polluter in the world. This research is an examination of the alterations needed to transition the cotton industry to be more sustainable. There are many labels misleading society’s philosophy of sustainability, however, a precise definition of sustainability lacks credibility. Advocates have created educational resources to cultivate the industry for further understanding of the harmful practices of conventional cotton (Better Cotton Initiative, nd). Sustainable cotton lacks the use of manmade chemicals which leave a harmful footprint on the environment. The harmful practices of the conventional industry are long-lasting for the environment, while sustainable cotton promotes the future integrity of the land. This research explores the options for challenging the textiles industry to acknowledge the detrimental effects on our environment from the lack of sustainability, as well as develop sustainable practices within the cotton market.






Human Ecology