Alternatives to conventional cotton ?

WILSON, AR - OCTOBER 30: Cotton modules are dropped in a field during harvest on October 30, 2017 near Wilson, Arkansas. Despite extensive damage to the nation's cotton crop from Hurricane Harvey, the USDA expects cotton production to exceed last years levels by a significant amount. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

The fashion industry in transition. 

Many efforts are made by brands and retailers today to offer more “green” products; on the other hand, it remains difficult for these brands to determine the origin of the raw materials used, due to the complexity of the value chain, which makes the traceability of materials and their untraceable production condition. 

Efforts already being made by retailers to offer a more “ecological” selection of materials

the figures and their evolution

Figure 2 :Ethical fashion, what is it?

Today, more and more people are talking about organic cotton, hemp, tencel, linen and wool. 

But did you know that organic cotton is less resistant than conventional cotton and consumes four times more water

Indeed, in an organic cotton field, it is important to know that the growth is not controlled and that, during the harvest, you get lengths of yarns of quite different size, which makes the work more complicated, and the wad less solid. 

distribution of the clothing market
Figure 3 : Distribution of the clothing market (2017)

Do these new fibres have a place in fashion brands ? 

These new fibers (all those that are also in the blog :)) could replace cotton, the fiber most used in the textile industry, but also the most polluting, or silk, which requires boiling alive 6600 silkworm for a kilogram of yarn. Chromium IV tanned leather is responsible for a very significant water pollution, or even synthetic fibres such as polyester, which requires about 1.5kg of oil to produce 1kg of polyester. 

Being able to propose alternatives seems indispensable and the place of these fibres is essential and unavoidable. 

83% of brands believe that marketing organic clothing by meeting ethical fashion criteria can improve their image

Today, more and more, we hear about the launch of innovative materials products by brands, in order to show consumers their interest in the issue and to test the economic viability of these products. 


Pr. Anne Perwuelz – Professor – GEMTEX Laboratory

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