According to FAO, sustainability has four dimensions- economic, environmental, social and political. To achieve sustainability , efforts need to be oriented toward profitable farming without harming the ecology, environment and the society. The term sustainability can easily conflict with developmental aspects of cash crops such as cotton, where profits are the prime movers and the environment is of theoretical importance.
Compared to synthetic alternatives, cotton is renewable and bio-degradable and hence is the most sustainable raw material for the textile industry. Sustainable cotton production, on the other hand, refers to growing cotton in an economically and environmentally benign and ethically responsive manner. In practice, this amounts to adoption of those production techniques that do not harm the environment (or those that invigorate the environment), provide fair treatment to farm labourers and farm animals, and engages in those activities to support and sustain the livelihood of local communities.