While Ms. Fox was not the first person to invent nor harvest naturally colored cotton, she certainly was the first person to invent a species of organically grown, natural color cotton that could be machine-spun into thread. The reason this had not been a viable enterprise before was due to natural cotton having such short, weak fibers that it required hours upon hours of labor-intensive, hand-spun threading to yield sufficient quantity for a garment.
Commonly cultivated white cotton is grown from seed that has been bred for stronger, longer fibers that make industrial scale, low-cost machine-spun thread possible. However, the systemic environmental cost of the combined bleach processing and chemicals needed in it’s cultivation make white cotton among the most toxic industrial-scale farmed crops grown in the world, the head source of large amounts of pollution lingering in the soil, while also contaminating groundwater, compounded by runoff into streams and rivers affecting regions often far removed from areas of actual cultivation.
FoxFibre brand Cotton is an enabling technology because it can be profitably grown without pesticides or chemical pesticides, further promoting and encouraging farmers and the world’s textile industrial communities to see how high-quality clothing could be made with a correspondingly higher prioritization of environmental and human health factors.
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