Cotton and other natural fibers will be celebrated around the globe following a declaration by the United Nations General Assembly proclaiming 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibers.

The main intent is to raise the profile of natural fibers, including cotton, and emphasize their value to consumers and to society, while helping to sustain farmer income.

Robert S. Weil II, president of Cotton Council International, a non-profit U.S. trade association, applauds the emphasis this declaration and its related promotions will give to the importance of natural fibers in the global economy.

“Natural fibers, including cotton and U.S. cotton, are key economic contributors worldwide,” Weil said. “The International Year of Natural Fibers is a prime opportunity to bring attention to natural fibers and further stimulate consumer demand. CCI and its Cotton USA program have for more than half a century promoted the benefits of natural fibers, cotton generally and U.S. cotton specifically. CCI supports this effort and the well-deserved attention it brings to the importance of all natural fibers, and especially cotton, globally.”

Cotton, the largest natural fiber in the global fiber, textile and apparel economy, represents roughly 90 percent of all natural fibers consumed.