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FOX FIBRE:
DYED BY NATURE

Consumers know that a bright, white cotton t-shirt feels natural, what they don't know is that it took tons of herbicides and pesticides and millions of gallons of water to grow the cotton plants which are sprayed with a chemical defoliant to prevent leaf-staining. The resulting fibre is then saturated with bleach, or dyed with any number of potentially toxic chemicals. (Source: "Cotton's Little Red Hen," Beth Brookhart, Farm Journal, 1991 p. 8).

Sally Fox, founder of Natural Cotton Colours Inc. (Wickenberg, Arizona) has a better idea: she grows cotton that is colored naturally. Fox discovered that ancient peoples grew their cottons in bright colors. The result of ten years of experimentation, she produces cotton that yields beautifully colored fibers in hues of brown and green (she is currently working on blue). Her colored cotton is also naturally resistant to pests, so it requires fewer pesticides than conventional cotton. Also, because the resulting fabrics are naturally colorfast, there's no fading. In fact, the colors actually intensify with the first 15 washings. The hues are naturally warm and elegant.

Starting with a mere six plants, her business now supplies cotton to yarn spinners in ten different countries. Companies such as Fieldcrest, IKEA, and Levi Strauss use this company's naturally colored fabrics in their products. Timing has contributed to success people concerned about the environment are drawn to Fox Fibre for its unique characteristics and are willing to pay a slight premium to boot. In 1993, when L.L. Bean first offered a Fox Fibre sweater for $39, it sold out in a week ("Organic Cotton Hits the Shelves," In Business,

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