10 companies and organizations have joined forces in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (PST), Berlin/Germany, with the aim of building a fair, environmentally friendly, and economically viable organic cotton supply chain.
12,500 cotton producers in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Gujarat are expected to benefit from the project by converting to organic farming. To this end and within the framework of the "OCA Farm Programme“ farmers will have access to reliable non-GM (genetically modified) seeds, receive training on organic practices and decent working conditions.
Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), Amsterdam/Netherlands, working through local farm groups or implementing partners, will support the Partnership Initiative’s brand partners connecting to farm projects in various Indian regions. In return, the Initiative partners will provide a sourcing commitment for both in-conversion cotton and certified organic cotton including premiums to farmers (higher than the market price).
These companies and organizations participate in the Partnership Initiative Organic Cotton in India: Brands Fashion, C&A, Esprit, Formesse, GOTS, HAKRO, H&M Group, s.Oliver Group, Tchibo and Fairtrade. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and its strategic partner Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) are coordinating the project, which will run until August 2025.
In 2020, some members of the initiative started a pilot project on organic cotton in India (Süd-Odisha). The objective is to increase the amount of available organic cotton on the world market, among other things through training, targeted support for women, support for conversion to organic farming, GMO-free seeds, purchase commitments and premiums.
The Partnership Initiative and the pilot project contribute to achieve the joint goal of the PST members: By 2025, the share of sustainable cotton sourced by member companies is to increase to a total of 70%, and the share of organic cotton contained therein to 20%.