Cotton is the foundation for the textile industry. Cotton was what sparked the industrial revolution and today, cotton farming is a primary source of income in many parts of the world. At the same time, cotton farming – done in the way it is today – gives rise to many sustainability issues. Better Cotton Initiative aims to address many of them.
"In order for cotton farming to become more sustainable, water consumption needs to become more efficient. The use of chemicals also needs to change," says Marcus Bergman, Head of Sustainability at Gina Tricot. "That's why we are active members of Better Cotton Initiative, which is the first really large-scale global initiative towards more sustainable textile manufacturing. Organic cotton farming is fantastic and it is definitely a cutting-edge industry. However, in order to achieve a comprehensive, major impact, we need to work with education on a much larger scale."
Together with the UK organization, CottonConnect, Gina Tricot is supporting education initiatives for cotton farmers in Gujarat, India. The main effort is focused on the village, Siddhasar, where cotton farming is an important activity. The project is a cooperative effort between Gina Tricot, Kapp-Ahl, Lindex and MQ.
"Better Cotton is an excellent example of how companies in the fashion industry can cooperate on sustainability issues. It's important that one's efforts really make an impact, and for that to happen, you need to scale up the project. Companies like Levi’s, H&M and IKEA are also members of Better Cotton Initiative and together, we are making significant changes to the cotton industry, which has remained the same for entirely too long. We're now reaching hundreds of thousands of farmers by providing on-site training where they live and work. This is the first time that a sustainability project on a scale this large is being carried out in the cotton industry."
Here at The Good Project, you can read more about what goes on at Better Cotton. For example, you can read the article about our trip to Siddhasar and how our cooperation with CottonConnect has been set up.