In the latest issue of Intelligent Life, which is the bi-monthly magazine of The Economist, regular columnist ”The sceptical shopper” writes about Cotton’s true cost:
”Before you rush to the shops, wallet agape, consider cotton’s humanitarian and ecological prize tag. Cotton farmers from America to China use particularly noxious pesticides, spending around $2 billion on them each year. Unicef estimates that 1m children are hired seasonally to bring Egypt’s cotton crop, and child labour has been reported from cotton farms in Africa, India, China and Uzbekistan. Unfortunately little is done to protect consumers from buying products tended and harvested in miserable conditions.”
In Köp dig fri! we also quote WHO, stating that the kind of pesticides mentioned above each year cause some 5000 deaths and several hundreds of thousands of cases of poisoning (page 52). ”The sceptical shopper” continues:
”Until retailers clean up their acts and track their supply chains back to the fields there are barely any conscience-friendly options.” The concluding advice is – ”consider sleeping rougher: you could always try linen.”
Pictured above: Ecological cotton t-shirt, trousers and jacket from Swedish designer Camilla Norrback.