Those whimsical “Fabric of Our Lives” ads hide the ugly truth about cotton

Zoey cotton
Zooey Deschanel starred in Cotton Inc.’s 2009 “Fabric of Our Lives” campaign. | Cotton Inc.

By Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox

"The year is 1992. John Gotti is going to prison, Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton are feuding, Sinead O’Connor is ripping up a photo of the pope on Saturday Night Live, and everyone is just finding out that cotton is the fabric of their lives.

“The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives,” they are told, in a singsong sentence that doesn’t make grammatical sense, in a commercial paid for by Cotton Incorporated, a trade organization tasked with selling the story of American cotton.


Lovell Jarvis, director of the Blum Center of Developing Economies at the University of California, Davis, tells me he’s never seen the “Fabric of Our Lives” commercials but listens patiently while I try to describe them, and then considers. “Is cotton a good product? I would say yes. Do I want to wear more cotton? Yes, sure. Does that mean I would support subsidies for the cotton industry? No. I especially wouldn’t if they were distorting international markets.”"

Read the full story at Vox