Collegiettes™, have you ever wondered where your clothes come from? Not just what stores or brands you go to, but the actual materials that your clothes are made of?
National Public Radio’s Planet Money produced a mini-series on just that. The life of apparel from cotton to shirt is a long one so on this edition of Fashion Friday we’ll talk a look at cotton, specifically American cotton which makes up 95 percent of the global cotton market!
American cotton is a genetically modified organic (GMO). GMOs aren’t trusted for consumption by a fair number of people, but a utility crop like cotton seems to get a pass. There are literally hundreds of strains that have been tested, retested and grown to the specifications of a textile mill. There are factors such as whiteness, brightness, strength, how individual fibers react to water and more. This means that American cotton will be what the customer wants, every time without fail.
Cotton is and has been one of America’s cash crops for centuries. Today, hundreds of acres of cotton are harvested by large machines and then run through industrial gins in order to meet the needs of a global economy. Without American cotton to fuel the apparel industry, most of the world’s clothes would be of inferior quality and dissolve after only a few washes.