We're using a ground-up approach to develop the future of independent sustainable cotton farming.
Best known in the coffee & tea industries, direct trade is a way of sourcing raw ingredients straight from the farmers, without the use of traditional middlemen. Buying the raw material ourselves lets us do three things: provide our customers with fair prices that reflect the quality instead of the label, provide farmers with better prices and business practices (especially in comparison to fast fashion enterprises), provide transparency into how our partners conduct their business.
Unfortunately, in the world of apparel, the race to the bottom most negatively impacts the initial stages of the supply chain. When fast fashion brands are squeezing their suppliers to provide the lowest quality goods, it's a challenge for premium cotton growers to compete in the market, causing some to flood their fields to grow rice. That’s why we’ve implemented guaranteed prices for our farmers in Egypt and Portugal, so they can better plan for the future.
Many farms lack the knowledge, resources, or motivation to become 100% certified organic. Our belief is that the future of cotton, and the industry as a whole, rests on its ability to mobilize and lead the way in agriculture and sustainability. For this reason, we’ve embarked on a project to ensure 100% of our natural fibres are certified organic within the next five years. However, instead of simply neglecting the farms that don’t already have these practices in place, we’ll be working with each farm to set up these systems, so they too can participate in a more sustainable future.