When I first had the dream to start growing organic cotton in Tajikistan, like most innovations and new ideas, it was met with some indeed! People were laughing, and saying it won’t work, that the demand is for conventional cotton, that it is much easier etc. etc.
BUT, I remained true to my vision, and I did not listen to them (as you know). And thank goodness for that!
Almost 25% of all cotton growth globally today is categorised as Preferred Cotton, or cotton that is ecologically and/or socially progressive because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to other conventional options. The fact is that those ignoring the call by both the soil and farmer communities (among others) for a new way to grow agricultural products sustainably are fighting an increasingly uphill battle. Every year, they need to pump more chemicals, more pesticide, and, as a result, more money and sweat to get the same, or smaller, harvest as the previous year. Unfortunately, among many households, the best analogy for their soil is that of a drug addict – once it starts taking the drugs, it will want more and more, while doing less and less, until it collapses completely. Needless to say, this cannot continue for long, and even those ignoring it today will be forced to face it sooner or later.
Cotton supports the livelihoods of 350 million people every day, however often with dire environmental and social consequences. Some facts about conventional cotton (Textile Exchange, 2020)…
- Cotton covers only 2.5% of global farmland but accounts for 6% of global pesticide use.
- Can you imagine that under conventional farming it takes 2,750 litres of water to grow cotton used to make one t-shirt?
- The Environmental Protection Agency classified chemicals used for conventional growth some of the most toxic in existence and…
- It leads to 1000s of farmer deaths, especially in developing countries.
This is definitely not something consumers or manufactures think about when browsing for, often cheap and mass-produced, products made from conventional cotton.
But it’s not too late to change, learn, and do something about it!
Farnico does not want it to come to a total collapse of ecosystems for producers to see the path to sustainability. It is all about raising awareness, taking the lead, and spreading our message of the importance of sourcing and processing cotton in a way that is fair, sustainable, and natural. We want to show farmers, textile producers, retail chains and everyone who buys clothes made from cotton that is growing organically is key to raise our collective Quality of Life. By purchasing clothes that are sustainably sourced and grown with organic cotton, you do your part in restoring nature, to stop social injustice and bring joy and happiness to communities all across the developing world.
Farnico’s customers make the world a cleaner, healthier place with every purchase.