US consumers are more willing to opt for sustainable cotton grown in the US when given the choice – many were even willing to pay more for it!
Would you choose clothing made from local sustainable cotton over cotton from an unnamed source, given the option? And if you would, would you be willing to pay a bit more for it?
Those were the questions posed by University of Missouri researchers curious to find out the potential for sustainable cotton in the marketplace. Researchers defined sustainable cotton-growing practices are those that “[use] fewer pesticides and less water, land, and energy compared to traditional practices, which result in a decreased environmental impact.” Although sustainable clothing certainly exists as a choice for consumers, it has a lot of potential for further growth.
Consumers want sustainable options
As it turns out, US consumers told the researchers that they would be more willing to opt for the sustainable option grown in the US when given the choice—many were even willing to pay five dollars more for it.
These results tell us that the clothing industry should be more transparent in its sourcing and manufacturing.
Make a difference
If you want to make a difference and support sustainable clothing, here’s how:
- When buying new pieces, choose fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
- Don’t limit these fabrics to your clothes—look for them when buying linens for the bedroom and kitchen.
- Avoid clothing made from synthetic fabrics, which create tiny “microplastic” particles that come off in the wash and can end up in the oceans, contributing to marine plastic pollution.
- Pay attention to where your clothing is made and its manufacturing process. Choose clothing made locally if possible, where human rights laws are strict. If choosing clothing made overseas, sweatshops may have been used, so opt for choices with a Fair Trade certification, ensuring best practices.
- If your favourite brand or clothing store doesn’t give you sustainable and fair choices, email them and ask them to commit to sustainable practices. Companies respond to consumer pressure, so every time you speak up makes a difference!
Tell us your thoughts
Would you be willing to pay more for clothing from a sustainable source? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!