The World Cotton day is celebrated on 7 October as a global celebration of cotton and its stakeholders, from field to fabric and beyond. At the initiative of the Cotton-4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali), the World Trade Organisation made the launch of World Cotton Day on 7 October 2019.
In August 2021, the General Assembly of the United Nations recognised the unique benefits of cotton by proclaiming 7 October of each year as World Cotton Day.
The objective of this global celebration is to raise the visibility of the cotton sector and awareness of the critical role that it plays in economic development, international trade and poverty alleviation.
World Cotton Day 2023 - Making cotton fair and sustainable for all: from farm to fashion
Cotton is the most important of the natural fibres, used daily in apparel and home furnishings. Cotton is a critical means of livelihood for millions of smallholders and their families by providing employment and income. It represents an important source of export revenues for some of the poorest countries in the world. Cotton is one of the most common fabrics in our wardrobes. It is comfortable, hypoallergenic, breathable and durable. But cotton represents so much more than just a commodity. This natural fabric is a life-changing product worldwide that sustains 32 million growers (almost half of them women) and benefits over 100 million families across 80 countries in 5 continents.
The World Cotton Day offers a unique opportunity to renew the commitment to a sustainable cotton sector for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. This year's theme aims to raise visibility of the cotton sector and awareness of the critical role that it plays in economic development, international trade and poverty alleviation. The observance also aims to highlight the importance of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The annual event aims to
Give exposure and recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in production, transformation and trade.
Engage donors and beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton.
Seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for the cotton-related industries and production in developing countries.
Promote technological advances, as well as further research and development on cotton.
Facts about cotton
Compared to synthetic alternatives, cotton is renewable and bio-degradable and hence is the most sustainable raw material for the textile industry
It’s the only agricultural commodity that provides both fiber and food.
Contrary to popular belief, cotton is not a thirsty crop. It's a xerophyte, so it thrives in dry, arid conditions where other crops can't grow.
It is estimated that about 32 million farmers produce cotton globally and nearly half of them are women.
Around 80 percent of cotton is used in apparel, 15 percent in home furnishings and the remaining 5 percent mostly accounts for non-woven applications, such as filters and padding.
Cotton occupies a mere 3% of the world's agricultural area - yet it meets 27% of the world's textile needs.
Cotton is a tough, hardy, flexible plant that is indeterminate in nature and can be grown all year long even in harsh conditions.
The majority of consumers say cotton is the best fabric for active wear, and more than 2 out of 3 say that 100% cotton sheets offer the best night’s sleep.
Cotton is used to make a lot more than comfortable fabric! A ton of cottonseed produces about 320 pounds of oil – which can be used for cooking, cosmetics and soap, among other things – while cottonseed meal and cake can be used as animal feed and fertiliser.
The top five cotton producing countries are China, India, the United States of America, Brazil and Pakistan, which together account for more than three-quarters of global production.
Cotton faces a number of uncertainties on both the production and demand sides that need to be properly addressed if the sector is to realize its full potential in supporting economic growth and sustainable development.
A single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for 5 people on average, often in some of the most impoverished regions.
Cotton-based filaments are appealing to 3D printers because they conduct heat well; become stronger when wet; and are more scalable than materials like wood.
In addition to its fibre used in textiles and apparel, food products can be derived from cotton, such as edible oil and animal feed from the seed.