Can America’s Big Cotton Industry Go Green?


An American cotton farmer in Sylvania, Georgia. (Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Liu Jie ... [+] via Getty Images) Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images Cotton is the world’s most popular natural fiber. And while it can be grown ultra-sustainably using sunshine, rain, and a farmer’s green thumb, nowadays cotton is more industrial than natural. Most of it is farmed using pesticides and GMO seeds, and the industry can’t shake the perception that it’s bad for the planet. In fact, a new report names cotton as a top contributor to biodiversity loss, while any recent trend piece on jeans or T-shirts mentions the fiber’s reputation as a water hog. But a new initiative, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, launched by industry groups, aims to put more...