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Cotton vs Polyester: Which Has the Better Sustainable Profile?

Rivet’s 2021 winter issue has dropped! This in-depth issue examines the steps the global denim industry is taking to minimize its impact on the environment, from implementing zero waste production and design processes to establishing greenhouse gas emissions goals aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Cotton and polyester–the fibers with the largest share of the apparel market–have been the subject of recent and ongoing questions regarding which holds the better environmental footprint. Both fibers have come under scrutiny for their environmental downfalls over the years, from cotton’s water usage in farming and manufacturing to polyester’s chemical base and production pitfalls….

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