The ELS (extra-long staple) cotton species, or Supima™ is grown exclusively in the southwest United States across 500 farms, the majority of which are still family-owned farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. 93% of the total Supima cotton grown each year comes from the San Joaquin Valley in California. Another 3% is grown in Arizona, 2% in New Mexico and 2% in Texas. 


Supima cotton has an average fiber length of 1.5 inches whereas the most common types of cotton grown globally typically have a fiber length of 1 inch. Supima cotton is also twice as strong as other cotton fibers. The longer fiber results in a smoother and stronger yarn, which translates into material that is extremely soft (and only gets softer over time), more durable and resistant to pilling and has better color retention for more vibrant colors. 


Supima cotton, as a natural fiber, is sustainable by nature. Because many of the farms growing the cotton are family-owned, their land is cherished in order to preserve the soil for future crops. Located in predominantly water-scarce regions of the country, these farms are some of the most innovative and set the standard for environmental and ethical cotton growing around the world. It’s also a zero waste crop. The fiber is sold and used in numerous consumer products, the stalk, stems and leaves of the crop are used for bedding for livestock and the seeds are used to create cottonseed oil, after which the seed hull can also be used as a source of protein in cattle feed. 


In partnership with Oritain, a forensic science company, Supima™ can test the natural fibers and authenticate the cotton. The cotton fiber absorbs trace elements and isotopes unique to the environment where it was grown. With a database of samples collected from the entire producing region, Oritain can analyze these elements and isotopes at any stage in the supply chain, and by comparing it to the sample, can verify the cotton is in fact ESL cotton and authenticate its place of origin, ensuring an American-made fiber.