[1] Why we still use cotton

The 5 responsible choices of Noshirt

Cotton is the perfect basis for soft, comfortable clothing. And for a lot of pollution and suffering around the world.

But we still use cotton to make our undershirts, and this is why (and how).

Noshirt is dedicated to improving the quality and sustainability of everything it does. From the materials we use to the way our clothes are made. That is why we use Supima cotton from America.

Google ‘cotton’ and within 15 minutes you will know why this ‘white gold’, which is used to make clothing all around the world, is not popular with everyone. It is one of the most-used materials for T-shirts, but it is also one of the most polluting. Cotton is grown on plantations in (poor) countries with a tropical climate, and needs a lot of water to grow. A whole lot of water. Some farmers will use huge amounts of pesticides to maximise the yield. While others will only pay the cotton pickers who work all day in the fields just enough to stay alive. And in some countries even children are used to pick cotton.

GUARANTEED 'RESPONSIBLE' COTTON

As a company in the fashion industry, you can do one of two things: you can either ignore the situation and keep on enjoying the benefits of mass production and cheap clothing. Or you can try to make a difference. Which is why we decided to look at the alternatives first, like bamboo. However, most of these ‘environment-friendly’ alternatives need a lot of chemical processing, which causes a lot of pollution, before they can be turned into comfortable fabrics. Which means they aren’t really any better.

So after weighing up all the pros and cons, we decided that the best option was to stick with cotton. Of course we want to take advantage of the superior qualities of cotton so we can make the most comfortable undershirts possible. But only if we can guarantee that the cotton has come from plantations where the use of pesticides and insecticides is regulated. And where they don't use child labour. And where the workers get a decent wage for the difficult work they do. Of course we want to be successful and offer a high quality, luxury product. But not if other people - or the planet - have to suffer to make that happen.

STRICT CONTROLS

Eventually we found a way to do it. Our shirts and shorts are made from our own blend of Supima cotton: a relatively expensive, high quality American cotton with extra-long fibres, which feels soft and supple on your skin. Why is Supima cotton good? To start off with, the underwear fits great, feels great, absorbs sweat, and lasts a long time. Secondly, and just as important, it is grown on plantations in the US that are strictly regulated to prevent any unauthorised use of pesticides. It also means we know for sure our undershirts and boxer shorts are not made by children. That the cotton pickers get decent wages. And that we are doing everything we can to combine both quality and sustainability in the fashion industry. Above all by setting a good example.

Want to know more about the responsible choices we make? Follow our blog and also read:

 

[2] Who makes our shirts (and where)?
[3] Noshirt = Nowaste
[4] The Customer is King? Not any more!
[5] OEKO-TEX, OEKO-WHAT?