Cotton is obtained from plants of the Gossypium genus, native to tropical and subtropical climates; most cotton grown currently comes from Gossypium hirsutum species, as it yields the best fibers. After blooming, seeds appear inside a capsule full of fibers; when ripe, it opens to form the boll. Farmers pick these bolls and remove seeds from them by a process called ginning; once seeds and other residues are removed, cotton becomes almost pure cellulose fiber and it is packed to enter the mill.
Following video shows how the Fairtrade premium is changing lives for cotton farmers in Cameroon.
A cotton mill is a place where fibers are carded to form a sliver so as to get them better aligned for spinning. Spinners produce the cotton thread which is then weaved into a textile; finally, the textile is ready to make clothing with it. Similarly to other colonial crops, like coffee or cocoa, cotton is the main source of income for several South countries, and is the only crop for large groups of farmers. Cotton is today the most widespread vegetal textile around the world.