Thanks to organic cotton, farmers earn more money and are no longer exposed to toxic pesticides. That is why we have been using organic cotton for 12 years. Nevertheless, less than 1% of the cotton used in the textile industry is organic.
Why is that? The conversion from conventional to organic cotton takes three years. The soil needs this time to recover from the artificial pesticides. During this time, the farmers cannot sell the cotton as organic cotton and do not receive an organic premium.
In addition, they have problems finding high-quality, GMO-free seeds - an essential prerequisite. More than 50% of smallholders give up on conversion to organic cotton within the first year because they cannot do it alone.
That is why we founded the ARMEDANGELS Organic Farmers Association in April 2018
We are thus helping 366 small farmers in India to switch from conventional cotton to organic cotton. What exactly does that mean? From the first year of the conversion, the farmers receive from us:
- an ARMEDANGELS organic premium
- high-quality GMO-free seeds
- training and technical support from our partner Suminter Organics in India
In January 2019, our Field Officers Pravin and Bhavesh informed us that the first harvest had produced good results. Through WhatsApp we regularly receive pictures of the farmers, fields and meetings in India.
In May 2019, our sustainability managers Julia and Lavinia travelled to India and visited the local farmers. The stories can be found in our highlights on our Instagram account.