A ‘footprint’ that cannot be ignored
Cotton is one of the crops that is most in demand. It’s also one of the thirstiest.
||Amount of water needed to produce a single pair of jeans (find out more)
Moreover, cotton farming uses more pesticides than other crops – which pollute water supplies.
||Percentage of pesticides used globally for cotton (2.5% of the world's cultivated land), more than any other single major crop Source: EJF. (2007). The deadly chemicals in cotton. Environmental Justice Foundation in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network
► Read more why the cotton industry needs to minimise its environmental impact
The stress cotton puts on water supplies isn’t sustainable – for the cotton industry, people, wildlife or ecosystems.
WWF is putting several solutions into practice to ease the strain.
We helped start the Better Cotton Initiative
in 2005 to reduce the amount of water and chemicals used to grow cotton – and to improve the lives and livelihoods of cotton farmers worldwide.
2020: 25% of cotton produced for the global market meets Better Cotton Initiative principles and criteria
12,5% of global cotton is Better Cotton/organic (August 2016)
We’re working on many other projects worldwide to improve cotton production and protect freshwater too.
► Read more about WWF’s work on better cotton