Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Public Environmental Concerns and Consumer Perception of Organic Production in the Cotton Industry.04/05/2018
A May 2017 study conducted by Mintel’s British Lifestyles concluded that 67% of UK adults are “concerned about the future of the environment” (Dover, 2017). Top environmental concerns consist of water contamination and “proliferation of public waste” by in large (Staff, 2011). One of the most widely used chemicals in cotton production is aldicarb. Aldicarb is a highly toxic insecticide that is applied directly to the soil (Cornell University, 1993). The production of organic cotton would greatly reduce the risk of contaminating ground water and would provide a healthier work environment.
Unfortunately, challenges are present when it comes to organic cotton production. Organic cotton is more expensive to produce than traditionally grown cotton. This is due to its increased vulnerability to destructive natural elements and increased risk of loss of crop. The ultimate market challenge currently is producing organic cotton at a competitive price on the same level as recycled polyester and plastic. Water bottles and other plastic objects are presently abundant materials occupying space alongside other waste. Recycling polyester and plastic is comparatively a cheaper process because it is obtained second-hand at close to nothing, conserves natural resources and energy, and lowers emissions (Staff, 2014).
Therefore, the primary purpose of research is to provide an in-depth analysis on consumers’ concerns with sustainability and organic production in the cotton industry. To address this purpose, the paper will also examine the scholarly literature on this topic and research conducted by environmental organizations around the world.