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The Story of a Cotton T-Shirt

In the world ranking, India, China and America are at the forefront of cotton cultivation. The planted cotton crops become cotton flowers within 110-150 days and are ready to be picked. The most important information to be given here is that the cotton crop uses the highest pesticides. This is harmful to both the workers and the ecosystem, which is also known to have carcinogenic effects. There is also an organic cotton production, which is produced without the use of pesticides, but it only accounts for 1% of the 22.7 million metric tons of cotton production per year. The cotton balls obtained in the cotton fields pass through the gin and are turned into 225 kg bales and begin their first journey towards the spinners, mostly in China and India. The bales reaching the cotton mills are turned into yarn by going through many processes. The yarns are wrapped in bobbins and packaged for the next stage, which are the knitters. This time the distribution network is even wider. All over the world, these yarns are distributed to knitters who will knit fabrics in different styles, weights and appearances. In order for the cloths knitted in the factories to become fabrics, they must be treated with heat and chemicals in order to have the desired softness and get ready for the dying process. Now the fabrics are ready and the next journey begins to the dyehouses… At the dye houses, fabrics are dyed into the desired colors and this process requires a large control system. It is essential that the wastewater coming out of the dye houses be controlled very well, otherwise it is highly likely that we will see the colors of the season in our streams. Dyeing is the last of the untouched processes, because people are still needed for sewing. Cotton, which has become a fabric now fills the warehouses of the factories where the brands have their production done. These factories exist all over the world, but the highest t-shirt industry is in Bangladesh with 4.5 million workers. China, Turkey, Portugal, Italy follow. The fabrics are cut in the desired form and model, sewn, ironed and packed after checking. They are ready to go to the final destination with the parcels. Finally they reach the warehouses of the brands to be sold, leaving a huge carbon footprint with airplanes, ships and trucks.


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