The Economics Behind Producing Clothing Fabric

By Riley Fitzgerald on July 26, 2019 0 Comments

Behind Producing Clothing Fabric

Cotton is among the oldest crops to be grown in America which is widely used in t shirt printing industry.  It transformed the States as many stakeholders benefited from the cotton economy. With Eli Whitney’s cotton gin discovery, cotton becomes extremely valuable. The gin helped separate cotton seeds from the fibre, which fuelled the economy.

The Cotton Economy

Recently, there has been a rising demand for products, which meet organic cotton as well as BCI certification standards. The increase in demand has led to the development of new production methods that will increase productivity while taking care of the environment.

The rural sector is responsible for farming activities in the economy. For a healthy rural economy, there must be stable income, prices, and cotton yields. Cotton cultivation is a source of livelihood for thousands of farmers, thus contributing to the economy positively.

Organic cotton farming is a new trend to conserve the environment, which is getting polluted through intensive cotton farming without regulating the use of chemicals.

Statistics show that producing cotton organically has as low as 50% effect on climate change as compared to conventional production. Organic cotton cultivation takes less blue water (60%) compared to traditional farming.

To best understand the importance of cotton, let us step back and appreciate its history, which is the key to getting a better insight into modern capitalism.

History of Cotton

By as early as 1861, cotton was the main ingredient in the manufacturing industry. It helped the economy by providing employment and volumes of output. Cotton has built an unbeatable empire.

During the 18th and 19th century, more than 20 million were engaged in cotton farming. The industry enriched European manufacturers and was termed as the most successful agricultural industry ever realized. Cotton has managed to place the United States in a world economic map.

America thrived in the business because they had a comparative advantage in obtaining land, labour, and credit, which were the main factors in producing cotton.

Cotton Contribution in the Present Day

Cotton is still an essential commodity among useful products that come from the United States. Let’s do some quick math. The textile industry in the U.S. creates an annual demand of 7.6 million cotton bales. Each bale has 500 pounds of cotton. 57% of this is used in apparel, 36% goes to home furnishing, while the remaining 7% goes to industrial products.

Therefore, if the textile industry concentrated on making one product out of the cotton produced, then the estimated output would be 3 billion jeans pairs or 13 billion men’s shirts. Such volumes, if sold, would result in a good profit and a great economic boost.

Other Uses of Cotton

There is more to cotton than just textile. Cotton seeds, though often overlooked, are used as livestock feeds.  These seeds are crushed to produce high salad oil, which is rich in protein to feed poultry and livestock animals.


The next time you print yourself custom T-shirts, you have a little background of how the T-shirt came to be. Cotton production began centuries before and is still a significant contribution to the economy. Its various uses, creation of employment, and revenue generation remain unmatched, especially with the continuing increase in demand for cotton products.