Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co to partners with Artistic Milliners to buy organic cotton directly from Pakistani farmers.
Despite making up "a modest portion" of the denim industry giant's total volume of materials, Milliner Organic cotton, according to the business, would allow its teams "learn firsthand about acquiring organic cotton through a more direct way." These insights may "help guide subsequent initiatives," it was said.
95 percent of the cotton that LS&Co. sourced in fiscal 2021—the 12-month period that ended on November 28, 2021—was organic, recycled, or Better Cotton, according to LS&Co. In addition to broadening its portfolio to include "more sustainable and less resource-intensive alternatives to traditional virgin cotton," it aims to reach 100% certified or "preferred more sustainable cotton" by 2025.
As stated by LS&Co. to Procuring Journal, "Our strategy to achieve this aim includes supporting organic cotton cultivation, employing more post-consumer recycled cotton when possible, and sourcing pre-consumer recycled cotton."
Just two months before Milliner Organic, a project of Artistic Milliners, produced its first crop of certified in-transition organic cotton, LS&Co. joined the Organic Cotton Accelerator. Omer Ahmed, the managing director of Artistic Milliners, called it "the first of many to come" at the time. In December, Milliner Organic denim was introduced for the first time by Bestseller's Jack & Jones line. H&M will also receive organic cotton from Artistic Milliners.
According to Artistic Milliners, it intends to "sustainably grow" the agricultural region and make it profitable for farmers to grow organic cotton without outside financial assistance. With the help of the Regenagri standard, it also plans to introduce regenerative certification.
Ahmed said that this initiative is unique to them because they get to offer innovation and resourcefulness to the agricultural communities, as well as support farmers as they move to organic cotton farming methods. They link all participants in the supply chain to map the path their product takes from agriculture to fashion with traceability enabled by blockchain. Raising the standard for collaboration and creating good partnerships requires this level of transparency.
Together with WWF Pakistan and the Baluchistan government, the supplier created the Milliner Organic program. According to Artistic Milliners, the former has given insights into the neighborhood, while the latter has used its knowledge of organic farming to bring farmers up to speed and get them certified.
Jeffrey Hogue, chief sustainability officer of Levi Strauss & Co., said that working with the Milliner Organic project, LS&Co. is able to get organic cotton directly from participating farmers who have the support they need to boost yields and provide for their families and communities. They can collaborate to not only maintain the longevity of cotton but also to ensure that the methods they use best serve the local communities where the cotton is cultivated thanks to the partnerships made possible by OCA.
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