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Cotton parent-preferred for back-to-school apparel

Cotton is the fibre parents prefer for their children's back-to-school apparel, with more than three-quarters of parents preferring their children to be dressed in cotton, a new survey shows.

This year, back-to-school clothing shoppers plan to spend about US$277 per person, according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor Survey.

The study found 85% of parents prefer to dress their children in cotton, with 53% saying they usually or always check the garment label to be sure the garments are made of cotton.

And performance is of key interest to parents, who want quality clothing that is durable. Nearly two-thirds of back-to-school clothing shoppers say they would be willing to pay more for their child/children's clothing, with 72% prepared to pay more for shrink resistance, 68% for fade resistance and 64% willing to splurge on odour resistance.

In addition, 64% of parents said they would be prepared to spend more on apparel with durability enhancement, or performance technologies, compared to clothing without those features.

"There are a lot of reasons why cotton is a comfortable choice for back-to-school wardrobes," says Dr Mikhail Varshavski. "Cotton fabrics have unique characteristics such as breathability and a more rapid release of bacteria in a laundry load, compared to synthetics. Some synthetics can actually encourage the growth of bacteria, which can create health issues and smell unpleasant."

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