Your T-Shirt
Has Traveled the World

what you wear matters

Don’t underestimate the great lengths your favorite basic tee has gone to. An average T-shirt travels 16,5000 miles before it reaches your closet!

Field to Factory

Your T-shirt’s journey starts in a cotton (or linen or hemp) field. Once the fiber is harvested, it’s sent to a gin where the lint is separated from the seed. (Fun fact: modern gins can process a bale of cotton every minute, or 15 tons of cotton every hour.) The cotton bale is sent to a spinner to be spun into yarn. Next, the yarn is then sent to a knitter (which is a machine, not a granny), where it’s knit into a fabric. This is the place your basic tee gets a performance boost. Synthetic fibers (like polyester, Tencel®, spandex) are added at the knitting facility to give your T-shirt extra pizazz. (Side note: Your T-shirt is dyed at either the yarn level, the fabric level, or the garment level. All depends on the facility!). Your T-shirt takes its final form at a “cut and sew” facility where the fabric is, you guessed it, cut and sewn! It’s then shipped to a brand warehouse, where it’s finally shipped to your local retailer or straight to your house!

A Global Perspective

So where does all the travel come in? The steps above often happen in entirely different countries. Most cotton is grown in India, China and the United States, but organic cotton (only 3% of all cotton) is mostly grown in Turkey and India. Synthetic yarns like nylon, polyester or spandex can be sourced from China, Taiwan and Indonesia. The trees used to make man-made cellulosic fabrics – better known as rayon, viscose, Modal® or Tencel® – are mostly grown in Europe and South Africa, and processed in Indonesia and Austria. Most wool comes from Australia, New Zealand or Italy. And that’s just the yarn: dyeing, finishing and cut-and-sew gets even more global. Low labor costs make Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam popular sites for garment factories.

Certified Responsible

Responsible sourcing can dramatically reduce the impact of a garment. Shortening your T-shirt's journey reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during transportation. And third party eco-certifications like bluesign® and Oeko-Tex® help ensure a safe and healthy work environment at all stages of the supply chain. We at Toad&Co are proud to offer 100% eCo fabrics: certified fabrics, responsible fibers and considerate sourcing.

Our T-shirts are Mother Nature-approved and ready for the adventure.