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Organic cotton to fair trade fashion

The European connection

But what happens to the organic cotton once it has been harvested by the Canete farmers? There would be little point in producing a pure raw material if it went on to be processed using lots of chemicals and sewn in a sweatshop.

One answer has come through Oro Blanco's link with Solidaridad, a Dutch organisation that fights injustice and poverty through fair trade. In 2004 Solidaridad launched MADE-BY - an initiative to clean up the fashion industry by creating sustainable production chains where clothing, from cotton to end product, is manufactured in a responsible way. As part of this, MADE-BY has linked the organic cotton farmers of Oro Blanco with fashion labels that want to manufacture clothes in an environmentally-friendly, ethical way.

One of the MADE-BY labels is Kuyichi, a style-conscious jeans company based in the Netherlands. The team at Kuyichi is in direct contact with the Peruvian farmers who supply material for its collection of organic tops and jeans. As well as using organic cotton, the company is trying to improve the working conditions at the factories that manufacture its clothes. Step by step, it is aiming to make its manufacturing process as clean and honest as possible.

Oro Blanco, which has farmers as shareholders, is now a shareholder of Kuyichi. This means that if Kuyichi succeeds, the farmers in Canete will benefit directly.


What is fair trade?



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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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