Organic heirloom cotton varieties in green, white and brown. These colorgrown varieties of cotton are just some of the natural shades of cotton.

What is Organic Heirloom Cotton?

This organic heirloom cotton will help clean up the fashion industry.

These rare organic heirloom varieties naturally grow cotton fiber in a rainbow of tones. Why does that matter? We can eliminate the need to dye clothing or decrease the amount of dyes used. Dyeing clothing is one of the dirtiest aspects of the fashion industry. In commercial clothing manufacturing, the process of dyeing and finishing clothing uses enormous amounts of extractive chemicals, water, energy and causes water and air pollution. Often times, toxic chemicals are used to dye clothing in developing regions with little environmental regulations or worker safety protections.

Using organic cotton that does not need to be dyed can have an enormous impact on human health and the health of the planet. Learn more about Harvest & Mill’s pioneering methods to decrease the impact of clothing manufacturing.


What are some other benefits of using naturally colored heirloom organic cotton? 

Naturally colored heirloom organic cotton is more drought tolerant and pest resistant, requiring less water and agricultural inputs. The brown fiber itself is also naturally flame retardant.

What exactly is heirloom organic cotton?

Cotton clothing is made from the fiber of the cotton plant (genus Gossypium). There are many varieties of the cotton plant, each with their own characteristics. Depending on the variety, the cotton plant can have different color flowers, diverse leaf characteristics and a rainbow of fiber colors. Certain heirloom cotton varieties naturally grow brown, green and red cotton fibers. These heirloom cotton varieties have been grown around the world for thousands of years.

Most commercial varieties of cotton produce a white fiber. These white varieties have been cultivated over the centuries to be more commercially viable. Commercial white cotton varieties have been bred for homogenous characteristics like white color, staple length, softness, ease of spinning and more.

What’s the difference between commercial varieties and heirloom varieties? 

Heirloom varieties are typically older cultivars that are not common in modern large-scale agriculture. The phrase “heirloom” refers to the idea that you would pass down the seeds from generation to generation, as opposed to purchasing new seeds from a seed company.

Think of heirloom tomatoes versus commercial tomatoes you find in a grocery store. Heirloom tomatoes come in all sizes, shapes and colors while commercial tomatoes tend to be just red, hard and were cultivated for characteristics like ease of shipping, cold storage and other commercial advantages. While commercial varieties of tomatoes may last longer and look more homogenous, heirloom tomatoes have more unique flavor profiles, coloration and botanical advantages.  

Similar to heirloom tomatoes, heirloom cotton has unique characteristics that are not found in commercial cotton. Most plants that we use for food or fiber have heirloom varieties. The genetic diversity found in heirloom varieties will be increasingly important as seed researchers look for genetic traits that can adapt to climate change.

What is organic cotton?

Organic cotton is grown to the same standards as organic food. In the United States, organic certification is rigorous, highly regulated and closely monitored. Organic crops are grown within an ecological farming system that avoids toxic fertilizers and chemicals, increases the natural biodiversity of the farm ecosystem and prohibits GMO seeds. This means healthier water, air and agricultural crops for our communities. Learn more about organic cotton.

Organic. Dye Free. Heirloom Cotton Varieties. Made in the USA from field to closet.

Our Heirloom Brown Cotton Collection features a new heavy weight tee
shirt, deep hue jogger pants and a french terry raglan sweatshirt. All
of the cotton for these pieces are 100% organic cotton entirely grown +
milled in the USA and designed + sewn in the San Francisco Bay Area.