Cotton is the soul and at the heart of the apparel industry. The crop is, however, facing many challenges. The farmers faced with rising temperatures every day. They also face floods, droughts, and pest infestation. Extreme weather is destroying the crop. The supply chain is affected and devastating to farmers. For growing cotton, water and pesticides needed to produce the crop. This has made farmers result in buying expensive chemicals like fertilizer to prevent the infestation of the pest.
Why need a new solution
The better cotton Initiative is here to address such critical issues. This is to make cotton growing more sustainable. Its objectives are.
- Improving labor standards.
- To decrease the impact of cotton in the environment.
- To increase the livelihood of farmers economically.
The initiative is straightforward. It is collaborating with local organizations so that farmers can get trained about better farming methods. They get training on the devastating effects of child labor, labor issues.
Over three hundred million people who actively involved in cotton farming are an insignificant threat because of the effects of climate change. As a result, cotton prices will continue to fluctuate. Some companies are trying to see the difference in how this commodity is grown. It is one of the most extensive products produced in the world. The better cotton initiative is trying to take innovations steps towards making cotton more sustainable.
For example, in India, the artist uses their talents to compose songs on the better cotton initiative as a way of spreading the methods to farmers in the villages. This technology has been used from generation to generation as a vital oral history.
Challenges are facing a better cotton initiative.
One of the main challenges is figuring out ways of making cotton a mainstream without prices rising. BCI’s main objective is to ensure that products from better cotton have become mainstream. Also, ensuring they aren’t expensive and they are excellent end products. Hence the reason why the products will not have a BCI label on them in the first phase.
Another challenge the initiative is facing is traceability. The retailers do not buy crop directly or grow them or even buy that fabric or yarn. The industry has been struggling for many years, looking for a way to track crop direct from the farms. This will help them in understanding the environmental practices and labor well, which is associated with every farm.
Also, there are more than six changes in ownership between the harvested cotton and the finished product. The focus of the initiative is to look for reliable means to trace better crops. This is to ensure each bale of this Better cotton has an identification number to make it traceable. This will ensure that sustainable crop gets incorporated into better cotton products.
Despite these challenges, there are opportunities for the world apparel companies to use the sphere of influence to bring in a positive difference in the supply chain.
The first results from the pilot site of this initiative are promising. For example, in Pakistan, farmers used less water and pesticides, with an average of thirty-two percent. This saw an increase in net profit up to sixty-nine percent. Changing the methods of growing the commodity without having to raise the prices is a daunting goal.
However, more challenges need to be addressed so that the plan can become a reality. The is hope that better crop farming strategies will be along with term farming. It is suitable for farmers and that companies sell clothing and textiles.