Dressmann, Norwegian menswear fashion chains is set to become the worldâ€™s largest fashion retailer of Fairtrade certified cotton due to its commitment to source 100 percent sustainable cotton and launch of new range of T-shirts, boxer shorts and socks line made from Fairtrade certified cotton, making them the biggest player in the sector.
The company in an effort to improve social and environmental conditions across its entire supply chain is committed to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.
Chessa Nilsen, Sustainability Lead at Dressmann said that they are proud to be able to launch a range of clothing. The Fairtrade label will initially launch on basic garments that are always in store, but this is just the beginning of their journey with Fairtrade, and they plan to introduce more clothing lines in Fairtrade certified cotton by 2018.
The move will see the Norwegian apparel chain launch its new range of T-shirts, boxers and socks made from Fairtrade certified cotton in up to 500 stores across Europe in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Austria and Germany, making them the largest global buyer of Fairtrade certified cotton in the apparel sector.
Subindu Garkhel, Fairtradeâ€™s Global Cotton Manager said that when big volumes such as these are traded on Fairtrade terms that Fairtrade can have a truly transformative impact on cotton farming communities and their environment across Africa, Asia and Latin America. They hope that Dressmannâ€™s Fairtrade commitment will inspire other major fashion brands and retailers to follow suit and scale up.
In India, over 2,400 cotton farmers from Fairtrade certified cooperative Noble Ecotech have already benefitted from Fairtrade cotton sales. They have been able to purchase farm equipment, water tanks and school equipment for local children, and installed drainage in all fields, reducing their water consumption by approximately 40%, the company reports.
Farmers from Noble Ecotech plan to invest money earned from Fairtrade sales in establishing a centre for agricultural training, where they can learn about efficient farming and cultivation of other crops, as well as how best to produce natural fertilisers and pesticides.
Now, members of the Fairtrade-certified cooperative buys cotton seed in large quantities which they sell to farmers for a reasonable price. The cooperative buys all the cotton they grow and sells it for them. This means that individual farmers no longer have to chase buyers single-handedly. Before, they had to buy seeds and other farm inputs from local merchants each year and found themselves in spiralling debt to them.
Fairtrade cotton farmers in India will benefit from increased Fairtrade sales and plan to invest in education projects and increasing environmentally friendly
production, the company reports. The farmers who grew their cotton have met Fairtradeâ€™s rigorous social, economic and environmental standards.
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