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Wear your values! By choosing Fairtrade certified cotton products, you are creating a more equitable trading landscape for (and with!) farmers and workers. Fairtrade certified cotton is produced in accordance with our rigorous environmental, economic and social standards that are unique to this commodity.
Follow the thread
It is easy to be disconnected from the people and processes that go into making products we use every day. When you follow the thread through farming, ginning, spinning, dying and sewing, the many dirty truths of the cotton industry are revealed.
Cotton farmers are in a difficult position. The increase in a global cotton supply along with subsidies that rich countries (like the US) pay to their farmers have caused the price of cotton to decline while the cost to produce rises. This leaves cotton farmers often without the resources they need to cover their business and living costs sustainably. On top of that, changing weather patterns and natural disasters associated with the climate crisis require farmers to nimbly meet new challenges, which is incredibly difficult when they don’t have the resources to do it.
Unravel more of the cotton industry by watching this video.
Reducing environmental impact
The cotton industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment—from landfills overflowing with barely used clothing waste to waterways polluted by agrochemicals to the over-use of water and other natural resources. Our Standards protect farmers’ health and safety, ban hazardous pesticides, and don’t allow the use of GMO seeds. Fairtrade cotton fields in India and Western Africa are also rain-fed, reducing the region’s water footprint.
While it isn’t a requirement, many Fairtrade cotton farmers have opted to go organic! We think this is incredible, and we encourage this conversion with incentives, training and local expert support.
Investing in farmers and their communities
Education for members was the second largest area in which cotton producers chose to invest their Fairtrade Premium in 2017-2018. This includes things like continuing education for women like Lalita who attended a sewing course started by the Fairtrade cotton farmers. Now, she is able to save money for her family by making clothes and mending cotton collecting sacks.
Alongside our customers, we are empowering fathers to put food on the table, children to get an education, mothers to start a business and communities to come together to grow and thrive.Tag Aloha
Make fair trade part of your everyday life. Find out how you can get involved in the movement to make trade equitable and sustainable.Join the movement