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Care What You Wear

Those Whimsical 'Fabric of Our Lives' Ads Hide the Ugly Truth About Cotton

The touch, the feel, Big Cotton.

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.

This famous commercial later underwent several updates, with versions of the signature jingle sung by indie movie queen Zooey Deschanel (pictured above, in 2009), by country star Miranda Lambert (also 2009),one-megahit-wonder Leona Lewis (2010), onetime Taylor Swift collaborator Colbie Caillat (also 2010), Blue Crush heroine Kate Bosworth (2011), and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere (2013).

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