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Article: Organic cotton Vs Polyester- Why it matters?

Organic cotton Vs Polyester- Why it matters?
Collective News

Organic cotton Vs Polyester- Why it matters?

When it comes to choosing clothing materials, there are a variety of options available. Two popular materials are organic cotton and polyester, but they have significant differences in terms of environmental impact.

Why organic cotton?

Organic cotton is defined as cotton with two characteristics:

  1. It has not been genetically modified (non-GMO)
  2. It was grown without the use of any chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, or other artificial agricultural substances

This means that the material is free from any harmful chemicals that can cause harm to the environment or to the people wearing the clothing. 


In addition, organic production systems focus on replenishing and maintaining soil fertility and building biologically diverse agriculture.

But what about water consumption?

Pesticide-free soil requires less water, and so do non-GMO seeds. Most organic cotton is grown on small-scale farms, which tend to be rainfed.

Altogether, this means that organic cotton uses approximately 90 per cent less ‘blue’ water (from groundwater and surface-water bodies, such as freshwater lakes and rivers) than conventional cotton.


Why polyester?

Polyester is a synthetic material made from plastic fibers. While it is known for being cheap, durable and long-lasting, it has many negative environmental impacts.

The process of producing polyester requires a lot of energy and resources, which can have a negative impact on the environment.

  • More than 55 million metric tons of polyester are produced every year, worldwide. This fabric has been blamed for the overproduction of clothing since its discovery in the 1940s and is one of the main contributing factors to fast fashion.
  • Polyester production relies on fossil fuels, which raises the carbon footprint of polyester.
  • Is not biodegradable and cannot truly be recycled.
  • Polyester is known to shed microfibers that are toxic to humans and aquatic life when washed.

Why it matters?

While polyester clothing can have beneficial properties, such as price, durability and thermal properties, similar characteristics can be found using more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. Purchasing pre-shrunk organic cotton, and recycled polyester clothing is a great affordable alternative and can compete equally with normal polyester and cotton garments. Illustrate is committed to supporting our environment and proudly stock 100% organic and recycled polyester garments. We believe in sustainable fashion over fast fashion and actively promote ethical manufacturing practices.

Our t-shirts are produced in factories powered by green energy as well as being constructed from low impact organic cotton.

Our sweatshirts and hoodies are made from either organic cotton, or a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester. Recycled polyester is produced by taking post-consumer plastic waste and converting it into a useful fabric. 

Join us in our commitment to sustainability and keep an eye out for these important symbols and logos when purchasing clothing:



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