Having joined OCA in 2019, BESTSELLER has signed agreements with two farm groups in India – totalling approximately 2,000 organic cotton farmers – for the current season and will be participating in OCA’s Farm Engagement & Development (FED) projects in 2020/21. India is the world’s leading producer of organic cotton.
From the upcoming harvest, BESTSELLER expects to source 1,500 tonnes of organic cotton direct from farmers, which will be fed directly into its supply chain. That projected yield would have accounted for 20 percent of BESTSELLER’s organic cotton consumption in 2019, and is enough to produce 3 million t-shirts.
The importance of a transparent organic cotton supply cannot be underestimated. As organic cotton accounts for just one percent of global cotton production, there is a mismatch between supply and demand. Without direct contact with farmers, it’s impossible to secure integrity, quality and supply.
Being involved from seed to garment creates full transparency throughout the supply chain and ensures the organic premium ends with the farmer and not middlemen.
“Since there are so many challenges with the global organic cotton market, we want our organic cotton to be directly sourced. We want to know where it came from and the communities that grew it, what impact our investment has, and how our pre-financing of seeds has helped,” says Danique Lodewijks, BESTSELLER Sustainability’s Senior Project Specialist.
“We need this direct-to-farm approach, to create a secure market and a premium payment for the farmers. Cotton accounts for 50 percent of BESTSELLER’s total fibre consumption and although our FED projects in India will only provide a fraction of the organic cotton we are likely to use in 2021, we are already exploring similar ventures in Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.”
Farmers deserve support
As a proud partner of OCA, BESTSELLER is helping to make organic farming a viable choice for cotton growers in India.
“Farmers are the stewards of the land, so by supporting them we strengthen the sector and safeguard the planet. With the FED projects, we aim to directly improve the profitability and prosperity of the organic cotton farmers we source from and increase transparency at farm level,” Danique says.
Organic cotton farming will not only lead to economic benefits. Avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers will drastically improve family health, help communities flourish, and make land and soil fertile for future generations, while protecting the planet.
WHAT IS THE ORGANIC COTTON ACCELERATOR?
As the global platform for organic cotton, the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) unites the organic cotton sector, enabling measurable improvements to farmers’ livelihoods and local communities.
BESTSELLER proudly partners with OCA to support cotton farmers in the adoption of organic cotton principles. Together, we are supporting the next generation of organic cotton farmers.
Visit OCA's website.