By Ashley Robinson
Georgia grown cotton is being used to create 100% cotton medical scrubs crafted entirely in the United States.
The initiative, spearheaded by Field to Closet Cotton Therapeutics, is making the concept of American grown, 100% cotton scrubs, a reality. The long-term vision for this initiative is to support the U.S. cotton farmer, increase domestic demand for cotton and re-shore American textile manufacturing.
The project highlights a U.S. supply chain from the Georgia grown cotton to the yarn, material and garment production. The project is the result of collaborative partnerships with America Knits, Deltapine seed, Helena Agri-Enterprises, Nutrien AgSolutions, Georgia’s Rural Center and HomeTown Health.
Governor Kemp Helps Launch Project
Georgia governor Brian Kemp came to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture on Friday, April 9 to help launch the Georgia Medical Scrubs Project.
“This project shows a lot of great innovation from this part of our state,” Kemp said during the kickoff event. “It is great to see things like this happen and come together.”
Kemp also highlighted the need to keep production close to home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the height of the pandemic, the U.S. faced shortages of personal protective equipment, medical apparel and supplies, as reliance on overseas products intensified. A complete U.S. supply chain would address market fragility in the future.
The initiative that recognizes the revitalization of a U.S. textile industry hinges on the success of the cotton grower. The Farmer Giveback program was established to address grower success by restructuring the economic distribution to equitably include the grower by sharing in the profit of the goods sold.
In contrast to traditional polyester fabrics used to make scrubs, cotton is a natural fiber that is biodegradable and recyclable. When cotton breaks down, it enriches the soil and leaves less of a carbon footprint than synthetic materials.
Not only is cotton sustainable for the environment, it will provide a direct economic impact to the rural areas where it is produced. University of Georgia Extension recently forecasted cotton’s overall impact on the state was greater than $3 billion and provided around 53,000 jobs.
To spotlight the venture, 16 rural Georgia hospitals will receive sets of the scrubs at no cost later this spring.