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What is cotton?

Cotton stands out as the most common natural fabric. Four species of the cotton plant are grown around the world to produce yarn. Renowned for its softness, durability, and sustainable qualities, cotton remains a popular choice in the realm of natural textiles.


fluffy cotton plant

History of Cotton

Evidence of cotton growing was found first in Mexico. The Romans also knew of cotton showing that this fabric had been wildly cultivated and produced for a mighty long time. The word cotton is drawn from medieval Arabic and it was Arab merchants who brought the cloth to Europe and then to America. Cotton also played a role in the beginning of the American economy being increasing manufacture with the patent on the cotton gin in 1793. This meant the gin could work 10 times faster than hand. Within a decade the American cotton industry grew from $150,000 to more than $8million.


two fused photos showing warmth with cuddly clothing and mugs

cotton is very versatile and can be knitted into comfy, cosy clothing

What's so great about Egyptian Cotton?

1. The extra long fibres create super soft and smooth yarns compared to regular cotton.

2. It is more breathable.

3. It is more absorbent.

4. It is stronger because of the hot and dry climate of the Nile River.

5. It is hand picked rather than by machine so fibres are not damaged.


What's the problem with cotton?

Water usage and pollution. Cotton's popularity has been it's own enemy. The amount of water used to produce just one t-shirt 2,700 litres. That is 4x a 4 person hot tub. Cotton also demands 6% of the world's pesticides and 16% of insecticides. The plant is completely biodegradable and can be thrown into the compost bin. Your t-shirt isn't and can't: when it is treated with certain chemicals or mixed with polyester. Cotton polyester mixed fabric is the most common used in the fast fashion industry.


What is the future of cotton?

Growing cotton organically has been well marketed but can involve unfortunate environmental consequences. It does not answer the water usage.. in facts uses even more. It is a huge commitment for the farmer as it takes a while before the harvest can be recognised as organic. Around half of the world's cotton is grown genetically modified to make the plant resistant to bollworm attack. Unfortunately, this has caused other previously harmless bugs to become a significant threat to the cotton crop, leading to lower harvests and encouraging more pest control. Forward-thinking brands like Patagonia and Levi's are leading the way with recyclable and renewable initiatives. These programs involve the creation of fabrics from existing clothing stockpiles, promoting sustainability by reducing energy consumption, resources, and landfill waste.


Long live our clothes!



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