Kelsey’s Closet Giveaway: Cotton of the Carolinas

To celebrate the release of the new updated and revised edition of Where Am I Wearing? I’m celebrating apparel companies that are making a difference by conducting two weeks of giveaways. Each day I’ll highlight a company and then giveaway an item of theirs at 9PM (ish). To enter, leave a comment in that day’s blog post or on Facebook. Winner will be randomly selected. Wanna see more clothing companies changing the world? Visit Kelsey’s Closet.

cotton of the carolinas

Enter a Comment below to win a shirt

They’re bringing cotton back

Farm, gin, spin, knit, finish, cut, sew, print, and dye. That’s what it takes to make a T-shirt. And Cotton of the Carolinas is happy to introduce you to everyone on each of these steps. Cotton of the Carolinas is the most transparent apparel company I’ve ever seen.

Want to talk to the farmer who grew the cotton for your T-shirt? Well, his name is Ronnie Burleson and Cotton of the Carolinas has his phone number and email address on their site. AMAZING! Ronnie lives outside Richfield and is a 3rd generation farmer and one of the first to bring cotton back to the area in 1991. Today he farms alongside  his brother Dennis, son Andrew, and nephew Aaron.

Ronnie’s nephew Wes Morgan (New London, NC) does the ginning . Mark Leonard (Thomasville, NC) at Hill Spinning does the spinning. Mortex Apparel a family business run by Brian Morrell (Spring Hope, NC) and Started by his father in 1984 cuts, knits, and sews the shirts. Kenny Hoyle (Statesville, NC) over at MoCaro Dyeing and Finishing oversees the dyeing and finishing. And my buddy Eric Henry and Tom Sineath at TS Designs (Burlington, NC) print the shirts.

You can meet them all on the Harvest ’10 interactive map.

All of these efforts equal the most comfortable organic T-shirt I’ve ever worn. They are amazing! I should email all of the folks involved producing my shirts thank you notes. But as great as the shirts are, I get more excited about the transparency involved in their creation. Also, everyone is from North Carolina, which holds a special place in my heart, since Annie and I lived there for a few years.

The most local T-shirt in the world

A typical T-shirt might travel 17,000 miles on the global supply chain. A Carolina Cotton shirt travels from dirt to shirt in under 750 miles and employees over 700 people. It just might be the most local T-shirt in the world.

Every Fall I get an invitation from Eric Henry at TS Designs to attend their harvest celebration. One of these days I’m going to take him up on the offer. Watch the video below and tell me you don’t want to sit on a front porch with Eric and Ronnie Burleson and throw back a couple of cold ones (beer or iced tea), and talk about farming and cotton and T-shirts with maybe a little blue grass playing in the background!

North Carolina has a long history with the textile industry and it’s great to see folks keeping the tradition alive.

They have a couple of great designs available for purchase. And any group that works with environmental issues or is looking to lessen their carbon footprint can request a quote.

Enter a Comment below to win a shirt

Eric McCoy says:

Very cool to see this company’s transparency!

Sarah Royer says:

I need the most comfortable tshirt ever!!!

More companies should follow suit. If you could personally call the person behind every product, perhaps the result would be better one.

Jalee says:

Love that their main goal is to inform the consumer. Edcuation is exactly how change of consumer habit begins.

Phil says:

Amazing job of showing what can be done…..locally.

Janet says:

A company truly committed to the environment!

Becki says:

Meet the farmer, spinner, knitter, dyer, seller. Cool concept. Wish I could wear t-shirts to work, but I’d settle for an organic cotton t-shirt I can wear around the house. 🙂 Have to check out their site.

Agreed, it is very encouraging to see the tradition being kept alive.

Angela Parrish says:

Eric and Tom are very active in our community of Burlington NC. They definately practice what they preach… They support local education, local farmers and have a terrific staff. They have an organic garden on the company property, beehives and chickens. Staff work in and get produce (eggs & honey) from the garden in addition to designing and printing t-shirts~
I went on the 2011 Cotton of the Carolina’s Tour in Oct…it was so informative! I got to ride in the cotton picker (have awesome pictures!) Wow is that a very intense piece of machinery. I had no idea the technology involved in picking cotton! The cotton ginning process was amazing as well…
It was really cool~ Kelsey you should really take the time to take the tour, it was definately worth the it. Ronnie was very nice, so was his brother (whom I rode in the machine with). We even had lunch supplied by our local co-op (Company Shops Market).
Now for the t-shirts, they are definately the most comfortable shirt I have ever had on my body! They are so soft!!! Worth every penny I have spent on them~

Sarah says:

Imagine what would happen if this concept was spread acroos various industries: food, the government, etc…..Revolution, that’s what!

Cristina says:

They really do show all of their info on where their shirts come from and how they are made, it’s really great!

Susie says:

Sign me up!

Kelsey says: selected someone on my facebook page. Thanks, all for playing. More goodies coming on Monday!!!!

Deborah Callicutt says:

Hey I am so pleased to see cotton back in the USA. Back in North Carolina.
This does my heart good, I have so missed cotton from shirts, undies and most of all pants. I am tired of pulling up my jeans with all that stretch in them, so I just don’t wear jeans anymore, I am even more tired of watching other women pull up their pants. I am hoping this will get bigger and soon everyone will get involved, and it will help to create jobs too. I wouldn’t mind weaving some cloth again!! Good job

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