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Cotton for style, comfort and the environment

THIS year is the United Nations International Year of Natural Fibres, which promotes global awareness of the benefits of natural fibers over synthetic and petroleum-based textiles.

Use of petroleum-based textiles is considered non-sustainable, while natural, organically grown fibers for cotton, linen and silk are attractive, comfortable and don't seriously deplete resources.

More than 80 percent of natural fibers are cotton, according Karin Malmstrom, director of Cotton Council International (CCI) in China. Promoting the use of cotton in apparel and home textiles, especially those produced in the USA, is the US-based organization's mission in China.

Last week, a fashion show was held at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, where six licensee brands of CCI, including K-Swiss, Schiesser, Lotto, Ivy House, Dinosaur and Casablanca, displayed their limited-edition collections made of American cotton.

All the pieces feature the print of a girl's silhouette in black, which was created by Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu, the organization's ambassador in China.

The products cover sports and casual wear, home textiles, children's wear as well as men and women's underwear.

They are sold in selective stores around the country. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Chinese Environmental Protection Foundation.

"Customers will have the opportunity not only to wear innovative and trendy designs, but also to help protect the environment," Hsu says.

"I believe that our future is in nature," she adds. "Promoting a sustainable, environmentally friendly way of life, like wearing pure cotton, is the least we can do."


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