Despite clear evidences that organic cotton can play a crucial role in moving towards sustainable textile, cotton is no longer the number one fiber in textile industry. Rather, synthetics are taking the lead globally due to their affordability while cotton industry faces many challenges in terms of competition with polyester. For example, the USA imports their polyester at half the cost of cotton from China. Moreover, man-made fibers are flexible, an essential new feature of contemporary clothes. Additionally, synthetic fibres are wrinkle and moisture resistant, strong, durable, which is in the interest of athletes and travelers, needs little or no ironing. With the life cycle of synthetics, combined with the use of various toxic chemicals and their negative health and environmental effects, it is clear that reassessment is required.
Nevertheless the past five decades have seen an immense shift from natural fibers to synthetic materials. The main reason for this shift constitutes from the fact that synthetics are cheaper and easier to produce in large quantities, ideal for the rise of fast fashion when new clothing items are quickly and cheaply produced to provide consumers with a constantly changing revolving-door of new fashions. Marketing is a key driver of fast fashion since the continuous release of new products motivates customers to keep up with ever-changing trends.