Why does a T-shirt made with organic cotton grown in the U.S.A. have a low carbon footprint?

U.S.A.-grown organic cotton has the lowest carbon footprint of all the major fibers (cotton, hemp and polyester) used for making shirts.  Its carbon footprint is 61% lower than conventionally grown cotton, 35% lower than imported organic cotton and 76% lower than polyester1. However, even U.S.A.-grown organic cotton still generates a small carbon footprint. This carbon footprint is offset completely by Zero Carbon®LLC by purchasing verified, incremental carbon offsets2. The total lifetime carbon footprint of a T-shirt is about twice that of making it. This extra carbon footprint is caused by washing and drying the shirt over its lifetime3. This entire lifetime carbon footprint is completely offset by the carbon offsets purchased by Zero Carbon®LLC.

So you can feel great about buying this T-shirt because it has a zero carbon footprint over its entire lifetime! We believe it is the world’s first zero carbon clothing.

Zero dyes. Zero bleach. Zero carbon.

All cotton. All organic. All made in the USA.

Soft on your skin

Soft on your planet™

Zero Carbon®Clothing Co.

1. Ecological Footprint and Water Analysis of Cotton, Hemp and Polyester. Nia Cherrett, John Barrett, Alexandra Clemett, Matthew Chadwick, and M.J. Chadwick, 2005. Study conducted by the Stockholm Environmental Institut.

2. These carbon offsets fund a project to capture methane gas that would otherwise leak into the atmosphere from exposed coal seams on the Southern Ute Indian reservations in Utah. Even the carbon offsets support American jobs and communities! Methane gas is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide in causing global warming. These carbon offsets are audited and verified to be real and incremental by Cool Effects™.  Verified incremental means that the carbon offset would not have happened without this program. This is in contrast to many carbon offsets that rely on planting trees in rainforests to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Reforestation programs are often not truly incremental because trees naturally seed and regrow, especially in a rainforest. So planting trees does not necessarily result in capturing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than would happen naturally. The Southern Ute Indian methane capture project is 100% incremental because if the Tribe did not capture the methane it would leak into the atmosphere and cause global warming.

3.  Mapping of Evidence on Sustainable Development Impacts that Occur in the Lifecycles of Clothing.Carbon Trust and BCG Analysis, DEFRA, 2007. Institute for Sustainable Resources, Queensland University of Technology.