Cotton is your go-to fabric for the spring-summer months. The softness. breathability and lightness of touch, keeps you feeling – and looking, of course – cool and comfortable as the temperatures rise. Natural cotton is also great for creating texture in clothing, and for holding vibrant colour palettes that give off suitably summery feels – statement stripes, floral patterns, and palm tree prints.
Now, if you know where to get it, it also supports more sustainable clothing practises than ever before.
Cotton is the most widely used natural fibre in the world, but production can be problematic. Cotton often needs lots of water and chemicals, which also makes the cost of production high for farmers. In some cases, the cotton on your back can have a real impact on the environment.
Things are improving thanks to Marks & Spencer. The high street store has been working for 10 years with partners WWF and the Better Cotton Initiative to support and source cotton more sustainably, which includes cotton grown to the Better Cotton Standard, organic, fair trade and recycled cotton.
Last year the initiative enabled approximately 16,000 farmers to be trained on more sustainable farming methods, such as efficient water, pesticide and fertiliser use.
And it’s changed things for the better in M&S stores too, with 100 per cent of the cotton for the clothing fabric now more sustainably sourced. And for those of us planning our spring wardrobes, well, green is a good colour on anyone this year.
Here are our favourite M&S Menswear cotton pieces.
Skinny Fit Chinos With Stretch
Chinos are a menswear staple that works for any season, but they’re especially good for the warmer months – lighter to wear and perfect for that smart casual summer look. These cotton rich chinos are made with stretch for all-day comfort.
Cotton Rich Knitted Polo
This knitted polo should be the first thing in your suitcase for stylish summer getaways. Soft and breathable, it’s one of those rare garments that looks tailored and feels comfortable. The mustard is also one of the statement colours from a fresh palette of understated SS19 hues. Matches perfectly with chinos.
Pure Cotton Parrot Print Shirt
With the advent of spring comes permission to air your more lively printed shirts. This striped short-sleeved option is embroidered with a playful parrot motif. And with narrower shoulders and a slim fit through the waist, it’s a relaxed fit. Perfect for vibey summer parties and just about smart enough for dress-down days at work.
Pure Cotton Leaf Print T-Shirt
You’ll get back to nature with this outdoorsy motif, which adds a fun touch to the classic men’s T-shirt. Made from pure cotton, it’s light and comfortable – both easy to wear and sharp looking on summer days. It also has a more relaxed, modern-style cut for a slimmer fit.
Cotton Rich Shirt Jacket
This sleek, contemporary garment is one of the best examples from M&S Menswear’s new selection of light summer jackets. The modern shirt-jacket hybrid design has four pockets, a shirt collar, and a fully lined interior. The cotton rich composition has plenty of stretch, so it’s breathable and comfortable on those breezy evenings. Don’t layer without it.
Crew Neck T-Shirt
Summery practically radiates from this pure cotton tee – a bold, cheerful, and eye-catching spin on the short-sleeved classic. The pure cotton has a moisture-wicking finish for keeping the sweat at bay when the next heatwave comes beaming in.
Pure Cotton Bucket Hat
Though it’s a timeless item for the hot weather, there’s also a distinctly retro vibe to this reversible bucket hat – like a swagger back the summers of the 1990s. It’s comfortable, with Cool Comfort technology in its denim fabric, plus Sun Smart technology that offers UPF50+ protection. Doctor’s orders.
Textured Crew Neck Jumper
This knit is perfect for when warmer evenings draw in and the textured design pairs perfectly when you slip over a traditional shirt collar or regular T-shirt. Made from pure cotton, it’s exactly what you want from a light but warming jumper. Soft, comfortable, and endlessly stylish.