Yes, we know, you’re still looking at snow from time to time out your window, and contrary to that trending feeling, you’re “feelin’ the chill” more often than not. But trust us, the time isn’t far off when you’ll feel the burn of the summer heat.
It’s summer fashion time, and cotton is in like never before! Green Box Boutique is ready to make you the coolest, freshest and most stylishly dressed woman (or child) in the neighborhood. We feature wonderful dresses from Mata Traders and our new line of Global Mamas girls’ and boys’ items.
We want to get you as excited about these cotton items as we are. Here’s some information about cotton, how it helps our economy, helps the environment, and most of all, what it does for your body.
Cotton Helps the Economy
Cotton comes in all kinds of textures and looks: broadcloth, calico, chino, denim, duck, gingham and seersucker, to name a few. 17 Seventeen states across the U.S. grow cotton, from Virginia to California, with 12 million acres planted to cotton or about 19,000 square miles. The cotton industry brings in $100 billion in business revenues each year and invests a lot of that back into the economy in seed, fertilizer, tractors and other heavy equipment, transportation and for employees.
75% of the cotton grown is used in apparel. The remainder of the plants are also put to good use in meal for cattle, cottonseed oil and more. We sell $7 billion worth of cotton, or 12 million bales, overseas, 30% of the world export market. Asia, Mexico and Turkey are our biggest customers. We also sell 3.5 million bale equivalents of textile products overseas annually.
Cotton Producers Taking Steps to Help the Environment
“Cotton is the most widespread profitable non-food crop in the world. Its production provides income for more than 250 million people worldwide and employs almost 7% of all labor in developing countries. Approximately half of all textiles are made of cotton.” (WWF)
Unfortunately, current practices are often unsustainable. WWF is one organization that works with a coalition of global partners to promote the sustainable production and use of cotton. “Cotton’s most prominent environmental impacts result from the use of agrochemicals (especially pesticides), the consumption of water, and the conversion of habitat to agricultural use.”
Organizations like WWF work with farmers all over the world to minimize the impact of harmful crop protection practices, encourage more efficient water usage and preserve available water resources, care for the health of the soil, conserve natural habitats, preserve the quality of the fiber and promote decent work.
Not only do better management practices preserve the environment, they increase production! More and more cotton growers are able to make the claim that their cotton is sustainably grown.
In addition, organic cotton agriculture is growing in popularity. Green Box Boutique garments are hand-made, Fair Trade, often organic and always sustainably produced. Adult and children’s items use non-toxic, natural dyes.
Now for the Great News: Cotton on Your Body
Picture yourself sitting on your porch on a hot afternoon sipping your sustainable wine and feeling nice and cool in your beautiful cotton dress. Why does it feel so good?
Cotton is natural and light in weight. It breathes, it absorbs and wicks away body moisture, it discourages the growth of mildew and yeast that happens in dark, moist places, and it maintains its fresh smell even when you’re really hot.
Cotton is hypoallergenic. Unlike synthetics, it doesn’t cause rashes or skin allergies. It doesn’t irritate the skin or cause static.
Cotton is soft and is good to have close to your skin. That’s why so many doctors recommend it for you and your baby.
In short, it feels wonderful on your body in the heat of summer!
Caring for Your Cotton
First the fit: cotton does have poor elasticity, not much give. Be sure the clothing fits you properly when you purchase it.
Did we mention that cotton is durable? That means you can launder it, even using hot water. Stains clean off it easily.
But most manufacturers of beautiful cotton clothing, especially handmade, recommend hand washing to maintain clothing longer, or at least turning the clothing inside out and washing in 100% cold water on delicate.
Pilling happens when the short fibers in clothing form lint. Cotton can pill, but the good news is that it whisks away. When synthetics pill, it never goes away.
Most shrinkage occurs during drying and only to a certain extent (it won’t shrink until it disappears), so you can account for that when you choose your clothes if you know you want to wash and dry on no heat or delicate for the shortest time possible.
You can also hang clothing outside to dry, taking advantage of the summer weather to get a bit of sun and do your part for the environment — but preserve colors by turning the clothing inside out.
Cotton wrinkles, a function of natural fiber coming in contact with moisture. You might need to run an iron over your cotton clothing to keep it great looking…on the other hand, the wrinkled look is in these days, and many items are made to show it off.
You in Your Cotton Dress
So…now that you know how wonderful cotton is, and you’re imagining yourself in that wonderfully cool, fresh cotton dress in the warm weather, it’s time to come on in to Green Box Boutique to find the dress that’s made for you.