Scientists from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
Organisation (CSIRO) are now working on a next generation cotton that will
have the properties of synthetics, such as being stretchy, non-creasing, and
even waterproof while retaining its natural fiber feel.
Synthetics such as polyester and nylon let off thousands of tiny
non-biodegrable microfibers during washing, entering waterways. Cotton sheds
fibers during washing, but these fibers are biodegradable and break down
"If we can produce next generation cotton, then we can take a large market
share of the synthetics industry and that's a win not just for Australia's
$2.5 billion industry, but also for the environment," Managing Director of
Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) Peter Graham said.
CSIRO and partners, including CSD, have been credited for reducing
insecticide use in cotton, growing by 85 percent and cutting herbicide use
by 60 percent through more than 30 years of improved cotton breeding using
GM techniques. Australian cotton is also the most water efficient cotton in