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7 Principles for Sustainable Cotton: The Better Cotton Initiative

7 Principles for Sustainable Cotton: The Better Cotton Initiative

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is the creator of the Better Cotton Standard System ( https://bettercotton.org/better-cotton-standard-system/ ), one of the most exciting things in the world of sustainable textiles. 
What the Better Cotton Standard System represents is nothing less than a holistic approach to establishing sustainable cotton production along the three crucial dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. 
The key to this program is the BCI’s 7 Principles ( https://bettercotton.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Better-Cotton-Principles_Overview_Extended.pdf ), which collectively work together to create sustainable cotton ( https://www.synzenbe.com/blog/from-food-to-fashion-applying-sustainability-lessons-across-industries-974/974 ). 
 
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1. Minimize the Harmful Impact of Crop Protection Practices 
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Because the cotton plant is attractive to a wide range of pests, farmers must adopt crop protection practices to ensure a harvest. There are many different crop protection practices, from plant breeding and cultivar selection to mechanical techniques to the application of pesticides, both natural and synthetic. 
The crop protection practices that have caused the most harm are those pertaining to the use of synthetic pesticides. These pesticides have had devastating ecological impacts, as well as adversely affecting human health. 
The BCI’s solution is Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the use of a variety of techniques to minimize the impact of pests. 
 
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2. Promote Water Stewardship 
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Cotton is known for being a thirsty crop, although a relevant factor here is the geography and climate. Cotton is relatively drought tolerant, but some agricultural practices are also enormously wasteful of water. 
The BCI promotes water stewardship by helping farmers to develop water stewardship plans. These plans start with mapping and understanding the water resources. They also include the management of soil moisture and water quality. The BCI promotes the use of efficient irrigation practices to optimize water productivity and promotes management of water quality. 
 
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3. Conserve Soil Health
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Soil erosion and misuse is an issue for cotton farmers as it is for farmers generally. A number of factors are relevant here, including the nature and type of the soils, vegetation cover, and agricultural management practices. Because agriculture is generally preceded by the clearing of native vegetation, and because it disturbs the soil, soil erosion is an issue not only with cotton but also with many other crops. 
BCI promotes healthy soil management to minimize erosion. BCI soil health plans identify and analyze soil types and are customized to ensure the maintenance of soil structure and fertility. 
 Continue reading on SynZenBe ( https://www.synzenbe.com/blog/7-principles-for-sustainable-cotton-the-better-cotton-initiative-993/993 )

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