Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Cotton, wait I know what you are thinking and don't go there. disclaimer I am talking about organic cotton. It has a longer history than you and I have been lead to think. If you look in your closet at this moment over 30% or more of you clothes are cotton most likely a blend. Cotton was and is a foundation of fashion. in this blog post I am going to give you all the facts on how a white plant changed the fashion industry forever and the Forever effects on our planet. If you love Fashion, are doing research on the topic, just shopping, or just are scrolling endlessly grab your favorite beverage, put on rain sounds, grab a blanket, simulate rain do what you need to do to read through this fountain of fashion knowledge I am about to share with you.
1) The Real History of Cotton
Forget the close minded view points or implicit bias you might have about cotton or its origin story, allow yourself to be open to learning and reading. The oldest found clothing made from cotton was found in India dating back to 6000 B.C if you are into that kind of thing I know I am.
Lets get into a bit about the luxury of Cotton, you read those words together luxury and cotton, back before its break through in the 19th century Cotton was used for the fabric for kings and royal family exclusively. Its important to think how far we have came with using this plants for its benefits medical to cosmetic to health, Don't be fooled by things in our 2021 world we often take short cuts and along the way to produce quicker, and gain more revenue not caring about the longe term effects an example of this is cotton was/is often blended with other synthetic fabrics. Which is one reason why quality has gone down and quantity has went up.
2) What even is Cotton and The cotton industry ?!
Most of us know that cotton comes from a plant for those of us who did not know well it comes from a plant. It is a soft white fibrous substance that surrounds the seed. it grows in a subtropical climate such as Africa , Egypt, Mexico, Australia you get the picture the hot places.
It has a very labor instance process to be harvested it used to be separated by hand fiber from seed that is until Eli Whitney created the "Cotton gin" meaning cotton engine it made the process more efficient.
The Cotton industry is one of the oldest industry dating back to the fifth millennium BC.
It changed life and fashion. The cotton industry created a generation of employment for the working class, also this industry has close relation with agriculture and other industry, occupies a unique position in the Indian economy and there are many more ways that the cotton industry changed and influenced fashion. It Changed fashion in so many ways.
3) Benefits of Cotton
I had no idea that cotton had so many benefits yes regular cotton has the clear medical benefits but lets dig a litter deeper in the plant. Cotton seed oil yes! its a thing, it has so many unknown benefits from cooking all the way down the spectrum to health and cosmetics.
I found it amazing that cotton seed oil is used in baking to insure that it is moist and chewy try a little the next time you bake brownies or cookies it can be your little special ingredient pass it on to the young ones.
Some more wonderful benefits I found with cotton seed oil was the possible health benefits I say possible because everyone is different and I am not I repeat I am not a doctor so do not go saying of well the founder of Unity Inc said I did not okayy LOL back to the benefits it may aid in lower as well as increase your LDL and HDL in simple terms for me and you good and bad cholesterol. There was a 2018 study on this oil and shown it has anticancer effects with prostate cancer, Also it aids in reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases. lots of possible health benefits
Now what some have been so eager to know which is the cosmetic benefits and there are a few that may make the girls and gays go out and buy some cotton seed oil. First cotton oil contains high amounts of vitamin E which is known as the "cell protector". some of the other cosmetic benefits includes skin it can be moisturizing , anti aging, anti inflammatory properties as well as well as hair preventing and maintain the amount of protein lost.
4) Clothes before Cotton
We often do not think of the history and knowledge of our clothes and the impact it has had on the our environment and will continue to have if fashion and other goods industries do not educate themselves on the effects on the environment and lets not forget paying the people who make the clothes.
Clothes before cotton were usually made out of wool, linen, hemp and expansive silks and cotton were imported, This is important because most fabrics still are imported from other countries knowing this information most of us continue to buy and buy with out the the though of quality over quantity and that is the definition of fast fashion. Cotton made Fashion exclusive and created scarcity and that is revolutionary.
In the 1890 when the introduction of other cheaper fabrics such as Raylon. In 1924 Nylon was introduced which is a synesthetic fiber, in the early 1950 polyester was introduced to the market and there was a HUGE uptake which put an economic hardship on cotton industries in Central America, This isn't the same today cotton is still highly traded throughout the top 5 countries leading in producing cotton include China, India, US, brazil, and Pakistan.
It is safe to say that Cotton is fashion. It changed the fashion industry in the many ways I have mentioned and should appreciated as the foundation it is. We as Brands need to educate, appreciate this natural fabric and other natural fabrics Mulberry Silk, Vicuña wool. The process it goes through to become something original and beautiful most importantly sustainable, as well as pay. Pay meaning payment for the fabric garment, paying the people who made the garment, and pay respects to the elements, plants, animals that make theses elegant fabrics that we enjoy.
Which is what we aim to do here at Unity with these blog post. Educate you as customers so you know more about fashion, fabrics. We intend on being all the things and offer the things we talk about in these blogs. The take away here is Elegance is Eco Friendly.