Two US based apparel companies have worked with local farmers to bring organic cotton back to North Carolina for what they say is the first time in recent memory.

T-shirt printer TS Designs and clothing maker Mortex Apparel say a five-year initiative has resulted in a usable volume of USDA-certified organic cotton which will be harvested in the State by the end of this month.

The harvest offers a solution for what they considered a broken supply chain. Until now, TS Designs' organic cotton T-shirts have been made at Mortex, but due to a shortage of US-grown organic cotton, they have been made from overseas yarn.

"The journey of growing organic cotton in North Carolina began about five years ago when we were told it couldn't be done," said Eric Henry, president of TS Designs.

"We started by making T-shirts from cotton grown in the state with a line called Cotton of the Carolinas, knowing that eventually we could do the same thing with certified organic cotton grown here."

Cotton of the Carolinas, has been sold for the past few years, but since the cotton was not certified organic, the brand focused on supporting local jobs and creating an entirely transparent supply chain, connecting the wearer of every shirt with every producer in the supply chain.

"Conventional textile wisdom says you can't create an apparel line from one farm, but we did it," added Brian Morrell, president of Mortex Apparel. "This organic cotton harvest is the next milestone and represents significant opportunity in bringing a positive impact to both jobs and the environment in our state."

The cotton quality, and thus the potential end product uses, will be determined after ginning in January.