Is Supima Cotton Better Than Regular Cotton and Polyester?

The Shift Towards Sustainable Fashion

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry. As consumers, we have the power to make choices that can contribute to a greener future. One key aspect of sustainable fashion is the choice of fabrics. This article will delve into the world of fabrics and explore why Supima cotton is a superior alternative to polyester or regular cotton, and how it can help us create a more sustainable wardrobe.

Understanding the Environmental Impact of Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that has become incredibly popular in the fashion industry due to its affordability and durability. However, the production of polyester comes at a steep environmental cost. The primary raw material for polyester is crude oil, a non-renewable resource. The extraction and refining of crude oil contribute to air and water pollution. Additionally, the process of manufacturing polyester releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. To put it in perspective, yarn production in the fashion industry now accounts for about one fifth of the 300-400 million tons of plastic produced globally each year

Polyester is also not biodegradable, which means that once it is discarded, it can take hundreds of years to decompose. This leads to a significant amount of textile waste ending up in landfills, further exacerbating the environmental impact of this fabric. 

Last, synthetic textiles like polyester shed tiny pieces of plastic with every wash and wear. These microplastic particles pollute  the oceans, freshwater and land. A few years ago, the U.S. Geological Survey found that more than 70 percent of microplastics found in river water came from fibers. Another study from 2017 found that more than one third of microplastics found in oceans can be traced to textiles, making them the largest source of microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Considering these factors, it is clear that polyester is not a sustainable choice for the environmentally conscious consumer.

So, Why Not Stick with Cotton instead of Polyester?

While cotton has the advantage over polyester in that it is a natural fiber, making it biodegradable, there are a number social and environmental downsides of it too.

Conventional cotton farming heavily relies on chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, which contaminate soil and water sources, harming biodiversity and human health. Pesticides kill beneficial organisms and drift onto neighboring crops, while synthetic fertilizers contribute to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 

These practices not only degrade ecosystems but also pose health risks to agricultural workers and local communities reliant on contaminated water sources. Transitioning to sustainable farming methods is essential to mitigate these negative impacts and promote environmental and human well-being.

Exploring the Benefits of Supima Cotton

Supima cotton, on the other hand, offers a more sustainable alternative to regular (as well as other types of) cotton.

First, Supima cotton is cultivated across only around 500 family-owned farms in the United States, many passed down through generations. This cotton is deeply intertwined with the land – a cherished legacy. These farmers prioritize preserving soil health and conserving precious water resources with utmost care.

Their methods not only set global benchmarks for environmental and ethical cotton production but also reflect a profound respect for the soil, seen as their vital asset. They diligently work to maintain soil fertility and boost productivity while minimizing inputs and maximizing yields. 

On the topic of water management, their fields are meticulously laser-leveled to optimize water use efficiency. Taking it even further, tailored irrigation methods are chosen based on terrain and soil characteristics, nurturing soil health and fostering wildlife.

For soil conservation, farmers employ time-tested practices, such as crop rotation, to ensure soil vitality. Regular rotations help balance soil nutrient levels, adapted to local conditions for sustained health.

In sum, Supima cotton is a premium cotton variety cultivated exclusively in the USA. Beyond its environmental and social benefits outlined above, it also stands out with its exceptional quality and durability, which stems from its distinctive extra-long staple fiber. 

How does Supima cotton measure up against other premium cotton variations like Egyptian Cotton or Pima Cotton?

While all Supima cotton boasts premium, extra-long staple fibers, Egyptian cotton’s reputation hinges primarily on its country of origin, without necessarily indicating quality. While a small fraction of Egyptian cotton may feature extra-long staple fibers, the majority comprises long-staple or regular varieties. Further, you miss out on the benefits of the lower carbon impact you get from Supima cotton, which is locally grown in the USA and doesn’t need to be shipped here.

Further, Supima cotton, the branded name for American-grown Pima cotton, ensures superior softness and durability. Pima cotton, a generic term, doesn’t guarantee extra-long staple fibers like those found in Supima. Additionally, only Supima cotton provides the assurance of originating from American farms employing cutting-edge technology and processes, as outlined above, which ensure the cultivation of the highest quality cotton while minimizing environmental impact. This is typically not the case with Pima cotton, which can come from Peru, but also Israel or China – and without those strict and advanced harvesting technologies.


More Posts


You’ve most likely seen him a time or two on our website and social media, but we’ve never properly introduced you to Gio (our original

Send Us A Message

Spend $100 more to get free US shipping
Your Cart is empty!

It looks like you haven't added any items to your cart yet.

Browse Products