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There is no perfect fiber

Here’s a serie of blog post

We met Elizabeth Cline, the author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, on Instagram. What connected us, was our mutual interest on the issues of Fast Fashion. We were able to correspond through emails, and ask her to give us her opinion on a few questions.

The first one was regarding different types of fibers: what would be the perfect one, and is cotton bad for the environment, since it requires a lot of ground?

Here’s her answer to this complex question:

The cotton industry is a vast, global enterprise. I can’t imagine it going away in our lifetimes regardless of whether we buy cotton or not. Cotton is going to place an increasing amount of pressure on our water supplies and it’s going to be under an increasing amount of pressure due to climate change. Really the main problem with cotton, even organic cotton, is the amount of water that it requires to grow. The UN estimates that as much as a third of the world’s population will live in water scarce regions by 2050. And climate change is going to shift the areas that have droughts or torrential downpours. It’s important to figure out ways to make cotton more sustainable and resilient. I think one of the main ways we can do that in whatever country we live in is to support politicians who advocate for sustainable resource usage. As a consumer, I buy cotton because it lasts along time and is easy to care for.

Organic cotton eliminates the harmful pesticides used in growing cotton, but it is also water-intensive. There is no perfect fiber that has zero environmental impact. Cotton is a wonderful material. As consumers, the easiest thing we can do is buy clothes and cotton carefully and judiciously. We should only take our fair share of the planet’s resources.

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