In recent years the concept of “fast fashion” has flooded our lives. The artificial need to consume more and more new, cheap clothes every day has serious consequences for the life of the planet.
Behind the colored fabrics is the misery that millions of people live in the countries where the factories are located and the production of raw materials takes place. Environmental disaster is insurmountable. Water pollution from toxic plant effluents and a lack of clean water, due to the huge amounts of water trapped by cotton crops, are leading populations to die.
Cotton is grown mainly in the rural areas of India. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to meet production demand has led to soil depletion. This, combined with successive droughts, has resulted in zero yields. Thus, the use of mutant seeds that promise higher yields was the only way for growers. Genetically modified seeds are much more expensive than traditional ones and do not reproduce, so they need to be replaced with new ones after each harvest. Their higher efficiency is supposed to offset this cost, but many find that the cotton in their fields does not grow as promised. Most are forced to resort to the loan solution either illegally by usurers or by bank loans. This temporary solution helps them secure the essentials for a good harvest.
Pressure, debt, poor living conditions, loss of relatives due to pollution and infections, lead many farmers to sadness. In the last thirty years, 296,438 suicides of cotton growers have been recorded, one person every 15 minutes. Farmers’ suicides account for the largest number of suicides in the world.