MOVING UP TO THE GOLD STANDARD OF ORGANIC
Browsing through Textile Exchange’s excellent new Farm and Fiber Report, I was struck by the number of “More Sustainable Cotton” initiatives that are now on offer – they are covered for the first time in the 2012 Report. When Textile Exchange started (as Organic Exchange) 10 years ago, the choice was organic, organic fairtrade, or conventional – now there’s a whole multiplicity of programmes, all offering different benefits and operating different sets of rules.
What all these new initiatives share is an easier entry point – if you’re a conventional cotton farmer wanting to change, it’s an easier step up than it would be for organic. That’s undoubtedly a good thing – the challenge of achieving the organic standard must be daunting, along with the requirement to be ‘in transition’ – a form of limbo – for three years while you wait for your changes to take effect. With the new sustainable cotton programmes you’re in with no waiting, an important factor in the uncertain world of farming. Any improvement in sustainability is to be welcomed. [Read More]