I’ve blogged a few times now about international years, which the United Nations has been designating since 1959 to to draw attention to major issues and to encourage international action addressing concerns with global importance and ramifications.
2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibres (also of astronomy and reconciliation). Since it’s been so hot lately I thought it was appropriate to talk about cotton, one of the 15 natural fibers being celebrated, and probably my favorite fabric all summer long. One of my coworkers, though, swears by her bamboo shirts and socks.
But natural fibers like cotton aren’t good only for their ventilation. They also are environment-friendly, renewable, and sustainable, as well as vital to the economies of many developing countries and the livelihoods and food security of millions of people. Did you know that “more than 60% of the world’s cotton is grown in China, India and Pakistan? In Asia, cotton is cultivated mainly by small farmers and its sale provides the primary source of income of some 100 million rural households.” You can get more information from the web site linked above.
Search the Library’s article databases (Academic Search Premier, etc.) to find related articles such as “Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry” in Environmental Health Perspectives (2007, vol.115, no.9, pp.A448-A454) and “ECO-CHIC” in Discover (2008, vol.29, no.9, pp.70-71).
Please ask a librarian if you would appreciate assistance in finding these and related materials.