"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where did Cotton Go?: Simple Living in Practice




Source: http://www.outdoorafro.com/2009/11/comes-out-in-the-wash/

I noticed something this summer when my husband came back from a computer show his freebie shirts were made of polyester... my son’s tennis shirts are made of polyester this year. 


Where did cotton go? 

New technologies have enabled clothing manufacturers to make polyester a more wickable (gets perspiration away from your body) product then it used to be, and because it is cheaper to produce than cotton it seems to be more available.

But I don’t like it... do you? 

Polyester just doesn’t feel as good as cotton to me. It definitely doesn’t wash and wear as well. Initially the colors are brighter and more intense, but I find if you put polyester in the dryer it starts to pucker and fray very quickly.

There have been misconceptions that cotton is “totally natural and best for the environment." This belief is not completely true. Cotton is a natural product that comes from a plant, unlike polyester which comes from a petroleum based chemical. But the process of turning both cotton and polyester into fabric requires a lot of water and energy.

There have also been claims that cotton isn’t environmentally friendly because it requires a lot of water to grown. This is not true according to James Pruden Director of Industry and Business Public Relations for Cotton Incorporated, who I spoke to at Blogher. He informed me that cotton doesn’t require anymore water than many other crops, and is actually quite drought resistant. He referred me to the CottonToday website which contains current information about the sustainability of cotton.

James Pruden also told me about a great program that is being supported by many retailers called The Cotton. From Blue to Green. which is collecting old denim and turning it into insulation.

Cotton seems to have many more avenues for reuse than polyester. You can send worn fleece to Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling Program to be recycled, but they are the only outlet I know of who recycle polyester. 

Another argument against cotton is that a lot of pesticides are used to grow it. This is no longer true, because cotton has been genetically modified to resist many insects. Pesticide use is way down.

My verdict: cotton feels better, lasts longer and is more environmentally friendly and recyclable than polyester. I choose cotton. 


How about you? 

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you... I like cotton. Just wanted to pop over and thank you for stopping by Posed Perfection last week and leaving me sweet comments. I hope you have a great week!
    Blessings,
    Nici

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcomed. I like your blog very much. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. If cotton isn't the majority of the fiber content in an garment, I won't even bother to buy it. Too much man-made stuff out there that gets too hot when wearing it! Great post!

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  3. Cotton is alive and well at my house. Because of allergies I find that my skin is happier in natural fibers (cotton, linen, silk, and wool) than in man made fibers so I read labels when I purchase. And I agree: It's easier to reuse.

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your post. It's an interesting debate...I do like the feel of cotton next to my skin, and it is so much easier to recycle!

    ReplyDelete

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