Did you know, for more than 6000 years, cotton has been an integral part of human lives? From clothing to biofuel, currency to livestock feed, it is an extremely versatile fabric. Since I know nothing about biofuel OR livestock, I should probably stick to writing about something that I’ve been passionate about for 2 decades… Cotton clothing!
This incredible fabric has so many advantages over the majority of other available fabrics, so I think it’s safe to say that cotton will be sticking around for a long time yet. And since it is a natural fiber that can be produced in enormous quantities, cotton will continue to be a cost-effective and widely available option for clothing for many people worldwide. Clothes made from cotton tend to be soft, breathable, and comfy while also being long-lasting and durable. For these reasons, I have been addicted to cool, cotton clothing since my many years living in the hot and humid Caribbean… And that’s what I’m here to talk to you about! So, let’s dive in… Here are the 10 advantages that come with wearing pure cotton clothing:
1. Cotton is a great option to wear all year! While we all know that one of my favorite things about cotton, is that the fibers allow airflow through the fabric, which helps to keep the body cool during warmer months BUT cotton is also a great thermal insulator (as long as it stays dry), making it a fantastic option for layering in winter too!
2. Cotton does not disperse microplastics. What does that even mean?? Well, you’ve probably heard me going on about certain fabrics that are like “wearing a plastic bag”. Those Man-made fabrics like nylon, polyester, or acrylic, actually discharge microplastics when washing them. Gross, right? But not our trusty cotton! Why? Because cotton is an organic, natural fiber that comes straight from mother nature, that’s why!
3. Cotton offers a relaxing experience. Yep, you heard me right! The natural cotton fibers provide enough airflow through the garment for breathability… Just like a cool ocean breeze flowing through a palm tree, wearing cotton will transport you straight onto island time.
4. Cotton has longevity!! For thousands of years, cotton has been a front-runner fabric of choice due to its exceptional qualities of comfort, softness, and breathability. Its versatility makes it well-suited for a variety of garments, ranging from underwear and sarongs to vacation tunics and beyond!
5. Cotton is adaptable… A super malleable fabric, cotton can be utilized in a range of items, from delicate beach coverups to heavier lounge pants. Its texture, strength, and warmth can be modified by weaving it into different thicknesses. There are many varieties of cotton that you might’ve heard of, including denim, suede, corduroy, chino, jersey, and poplin.
6. It is absolutely true that cotton is a natural fiber: planting of cotton plants commences in early spring and the harvest of the natural fiber generally occurs in the fall. The whole process of cultivating cotton typically spans a period of only five to six months, making it sustainable for growth and production for many decades or thousands of years to come.
8. The strength of cotton is remarkable: cotton is well-known for its durability, but it also has a unique advantage over other cellulose fibers like rayon, in that it actually gets stronger when wet. This means that washing machines don't have to be used with caution in fear of the clothes losing their shape. It also contributes to the longevity of clothing, which is integral to creating a sustainable wardrobe.
9. Cotton is known to be an allergen-free material! For those with sensitive skin, cotton fabrics have traditionally been viewed as a great choice. Cotton does not tend to aggravate skin allergies, which is why it is also utilized in bandages and medical gauze.
10. It is possible to compost cotton products. Yay! As I previously mentioned, cotton is a natural material. And unlike plasticky man-made fabrics, cotton is able to break down completely in a span of 6 months. Blended or treated cotton may take a bit longer to decompose, but this fantastic fabric is definitely a smart choice for sustainability.
In conclusion, this message from Cotton to you, island girl: “So pick me, choose me, love me.” For those of you who have been part of our island family for many years, it is no surprise that we are all still madly in love with McDreamy… oh, I mean… This amazing fabric. It has many benefits to offer and continues to improve with every passing day. And if you’re the new (island) girl on the block, I hope you enjoyed learning about why filling your closet with pure cotton is always a smart choice.
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