Extensive literature has been written about cotton – and for very good reasons.
First off: while there are around 40 species, only four are used for modern commercial cotton production. Imagine that! Also, gossypium is a genus of flowering plants in the tribe of the mallow family, from which cotton is harvested. Amazingly, cotton has been around for a very long time, seeds dating back 450 BC, Furthermore, all parts of the cotton plant are used, so there is no waste. Seeds are used for animal feed and human use in the form of cottonseed oil and the plant stalks are tilled back into the soil after harvesting and naturally improve the soil.
Curiosity: did you know that cotton is stronger when it is wet? Unlike other cellulosic fibres (like wood pulp) which lose their strength when wet.
Food for thought: wouldn't it be wonderful to bring back the cotton diapers too?
“Which is wonderful since it means that, Cotton keeps surprising us.”
Naturally, cotton too is on a new path of sustainability.
How is that for environmental friendliness?
Check out some interesting figures from Cotton Incorporated
- Land – soil conservation has increased by reducing soil loss 68%.
- Water used to grow cotton accounts for only about 3% of the world’s agricultural water use. In the U.S. 64% of the cotton is grown by naturally falling rainfall and irrigation water use has declined by 75%.
- Cotton has a neutral greenhouse gas footprint. In fact the amount of CO2 removed by cotton plants worldwide from the air is equivalent of taking 7 million cars off the road.
- The U.S. have seen a 50% reduction in the number of pesticide applications over the last 25 years. Pesticides are used by farmers to stabilize yields and produce abundant and affordable supply of food and fibre.
- Cotton is 100% biodegradable and is compostable. Under aerobic or anaerobic conditions wipes made of cotton will biodegrade completely in 4 weeks.
How to Care for Cotton
Cotton is absolutely one of the easiest fibres to care for.
When handling cotton you have a large number of options to choose from
including machine washing, ironing and even drying at high temperatures.
Important to mention are the healthy and beneficial aspects. It's hypoallergenic, which means that cotton fabric rarely causes allergic reactions and wearing cotton is often recommended for those with skin allergies. And precisely because cotton is hypoallergenic and does not irritate the skin, it is also used in medical products.