Democrat officials have introduced legislation to ban the use of all cotton and linen in all kinds of fabric, a move designed to help Democrats avoid the backlash from Republicans that has seen other companies move away from the use by consumers.
“It’s important to remember that these fabrics are made from animals, and we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the argument,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the bill’s co-sponsor.
The proposed legislation, called the Cotton-Free Act, was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and would prohibit the use in all types of fabrics and garments the following year.
In addition, it would ban the manufacture, use, and sale of synthetic fibers, which would require companies to label them.
The bill has broad support from lawmakers, who argue that it would help prevent another year of costly lawsuits and a costly and unnecessary government shutdown, even if the ban is temporary.
“We don’t have to wait another year to have the cotton ban in place,” Van Hollens co-chair said in a statement.
“We are trying to get as many people on board as we can, but I also want to make sure that we don’ t lose our jobs and we get this done.”
While cotton and synthetic fabrics are not exactly the same, both are made of cotton.
In fact, they are derived from the same plant, and the fibers are the same size.
The cotton ban would be effective in 2018 and would go into effect if enacted, according to the text of the legislation.
Cotton is made from cotton plants that were planted in the United States by cotton farmers in the 1870s, according the Congressional Research Service.
The United States is the world’s third-largest cotton producer, after China and Japan, according a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Cotton is the fabric of choice for American manufacturing, and it’s one of the oldest industrial plants in the world,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a recent interview with CNN.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that.
I don’t even think there is a question that it is a very, very significant industry in this country.”
House Democrats introduced similar legislation in June, but it stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The Cotton-free Act is the first time that a bipartisan coalition has introduced legislation aimed at tackling the use and impact of synthetic fabrics.