The textile industry and its miseries

in blockchain •  last year 

When I was a child my parents always told me to take care of my clothes so that when they were too small we could give them to cloth collectors who would then send these clothes to the poor people in Asia and Africa. We were all thinking that we did a good thing and that our clothes would help kids in poor countries.

The textile industry and its miseries.png

Image source: Pixabay

During my University time, I studied the economy of African countries and my opinion drastically changed. It is certainly not a bad thing to recycle clothes that could be used by others but the problem was and still is, that there is a huge industry behind all this. The clothes go to the poor countries but there they are not distributed for free. They are sold for prices per Kilo to owners of second hand shops who sell them later with a margin to their customers. The problem is that these clothes are much cheaper to buy than what is produced by the local industry. So what happens is that the tailors, the textile producers go out of business.

In recent years, some countries tried to forbid imports of second hand clothes but there is a lobby behind it and so far only Rwanda will implement a prohibition to import second hand clothes. The big defender of the lobbies is the USA...

What does that mean for the farmers in these countries?

Since the industry is almost non existent at a local level, the farmers who produce cotton have no local demand and they have to sell their crop to agents who in turn sell them on the world market. The problem is that the farmer only gets a very little margin of the profits. He has to bear all the risks and has no guarantee that the crop will still be profitable when harvested. In addition to that, the agents are often enjoying a monopole and pay the farmers when they choose to do so.

A nasty circle

In the third world the cotton farmers are producing for the ever changing needs of the developed countries. The clothes sold in Europe and in North America have to be always cheaper and cheaper, letting a lot of people work for very little money. It is very difficult to reduce the production costs of cotton, the production of tissues or the tailoring of clothes. However the prices still continue to drop in our shops. The problem is that this price drop is not generated by higher productivity, it is generated by lower margins for the people included in the industry. If a couple of cents per t-shirt can be saved, then there is no hesitation to dislocate the production from Pakistan to Bangladesh for example. So everybody is in competition with the world market and a lot of people are living in poverty in spite of working terrible hours in sometimes horrible conditions.

In addition to that, after being worn a couple of times in Europe or the USA, the clothes are collected and sent back to the people living in the poor countries. Like that insuring that the local textile industry will never evolve.

In India many farmers kill themselves on their cotton field because they can simply not pay back the loan they took to buy the protected seeds. In Bangladesh people die when textile factory buildings collapse because there is no money to renovate the old buildings.

What answer is there to this?

When I see what happens in these countries, it revolts me and I want to do something about it. I want to buy clothes that are produced in a sustainable manner and I also want that the people who produced these clothes earn enough to survive and to feed their families. But how to keep track?

The Blockchain to authenticate the provenance of cotton

Through a friend of mine, I discovered a very interesting project called Cotton Coin which integrates the whole supply chain in one ecosystem based on the blockchain technology. This would allow to track the sources of the crop and to follow its way along the supply chain. In addition to that it would provide a coin that would allow immediate transactions between the different actors along the chain. This is certainly a very promising step towards a better life for the people in the textile industry. You can find more information about Cotton Coin on their website.

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reading your post reminded me of this event.

Imagine if the people who made those clothes, or grew the cotton, got a say in what happened with the product of their own labor, instead of it feeding into the first world fashion system?


That would indeed be a big step forward for them!

My parents taught me to save them for the Salvation Army. I still do. Sad how a a ‘nasty’ circle can develop in a need industry.

good article using your own language, note the effort you did to communicate in a light and fresh way that it is, maybe if you had commented a little more about cotton coin would have been more complete, but I appreciate your great effort. I leave you my support


Thanks a lot for the nice feedback !

@achim03 you have a very great article on cotton coin but I think you should have given more details about Cotton Coin. Anyways, I appreciate you using your own words, good luck in the contest.


Thanks a lot for taking the time to read the post!

Greetings @achim03

We would like to confirm that your entry has been submited. Thank you for your time and effort.

Results of this contest will be announced on saturday 07/07/2018.

Best regards, Cotton Coin Team
Cotton Coin


Greetings @achim03


Just a small update.

Results will be announced on saturday 14/07/2018 (instead of 07/07/2018). This contest turned out to be a huge success and it may take us more than a week to read all reviews.

You can find more details visiting @crypto.piotr profile and checking out his latest post:

Best regards, Cotton Coin Team
Cotton Coin

Hi @achim03

Hell, that was a long week. I didnt expect this contest to become so popular. I expected 15-20 reviews about Cotton Coin but ended up with almost 60 entries. Crazy but positive :)

Let me already express how personally grateful I am for your support. It has been my first sponsored contest and I've learned already a big deal.

Regardless if you will be one of awarded winners or not - I want you to know that I will do my best to check your profile every few days and support all quality content related to blockchain, AI, human psychology or crypto (as those are my main passions).

I have almost 60 reviews to check and I want personally read each one. It make take me some time but I will definetly reply to any of yours comments.

Also: Im looking for few judges who would help me select best reviews. Please check also my latest post (contest update) for more details.

Obviously upvoted :)

Keep in touch,


Hi @crypto.piotr
Thanks for stopping by and your comment. I congratulate you on this sponsored contests. You really managed to get a huge amount of contestants. I can imagine you will spend a lot of hours checking the entries. I would gladly help you to evaluate them but at the moment I'm preparing to leave for holidays to Turkey and I won't have time to do so. Sorry about that.

Best regards,


Please accept my appplogy for such a late reply @achim03

Past several days has been very hectic and busy and I didn't have enough time to reply all received comments. Usually I have time to do that on weekends.

Thank you for your never ending support. I appreciate it a lot.

I congratulate you on this sponsored contests. You really managed to get a huge amount of contestants. I can imagine you will spend a lot of hours checking the entries.

Luckily I managed to get support of almost 15 different judges. That will make my task easier. And also it allowed us all to create more engagement within our small crypto community here :)

I hope you've noticed that there is more comments on your article than usual?

Enjoy your holiday and come back safely! :)


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Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by achim03 from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

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Broda, you had to say about the cotton coin , this article is so much awseome you can be the winner but why you had not talked about the cotton coins. Literally if I'm the selector of this contest and you said more about Cotton coin then I will select you. This article is so much different and so much awseome than others:)


Thank you very much for your kind feed-back. In hindsight I think I didn't realize that it was requested to speak much more about cotton coin. I didn't want to produce a text that looks like a sales pitch for the coin because there are enough of them already. I wanted to show why cotton coin could be an answer to a real life problem.


Yes you are definitely right, i know everyone wants to win but you should follow a bit of rule of the contest

Mhen! Impressed story line relating to the topic. Very nice article. Thanks for sharing this great post. I wish you success with love from @hardaeborla 🙌💗


Thank you very much for your kind feed-back!


You are very welcome 💗

wow, wonderful article you got here, keep it up bro


Thanks for your kind words!

Wow! I cannot but say you have done excellently here with your straight intro. You told the fact literally. I am from Africa, specifically from Nigeria. Those clothes you good people give out for free out of good will are not given for free when they reach here. Though, are sold so cheap but why? Thanks for this contribution and for bringing light to why cotton farming is gradually becoming a thing of discouragement. Much heart. You'd top my 10.


Thank you very much for your comment!

In addition to that, after being worn a couple of times in Europe or the USA, the clothes are collected and sent back to the people living in the poor countries. Like that insuring that the local textile industry will never evolve.

But a piece like creating a significant build up to the history of the condition of farmers and the cotton industry in those countries, a level of awareness is birthed.

with @cotton.coin there will be a surge in the industry, as rightly insinuated by your piece.


Thank you for your comment!


Your Welcome anytime

I wish you luck as you inch towards the star prize


Thanks ;-)