GLOBAL WARMING AND COTTON CROPS
How does Global Warming affect fabric?
Fabrics such as cotton and linen rely on crops. Cellulosic fabrics such as Viscose, Lyocell, Modal are derived from trees. Our change in climate is affecting our ecosystems enormously.
According to Eco Textiles News, "Due to the severe lack of rainfall, which has caused serious crop failures, it’s estimated that US cotton exports in 2022/23 will now fall by more than 2.5 million bales, with production down by 5.0 million bales due to the drought with ending stocks forecasted to be at their lowest level in nearly 100 years at just 1.8 million bales, according to figures from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)." Plants are simply not surviving long enough to produce seed or fibre.
India is the world’s largest cotton producer. It has recently weathered heavy rains which brings with it an increase in pest species. The weather has impacted cotton crops so badly that the country is having to import more cotton fibre.
"In Brazil, where just eight per cent of its cotton production comes from irrigated areas, according to industry group ABRAPA, the ongoing drought in the country has already dried up an estimated 200,000 metric tons of fibre supply."
China’s Xinjiang province were warned of more flash floods and mudslides as heatwaves swept across the region putting agriculture at risk. Farmers in certain regions also rely on nutrients from lake water, but these have all dried out.
To combat this volatile nature of natural fibres, some mills are starting to blend cotton yarn with other materials like polyester to reduce the dependency on natural fibres. This is not good news for sustainability on the planet.
Our governments need to act fast, as many environmentalists have already said, we needed to start acting decades ago.