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Sometimes we do hear about the big world even though we’re working in remote villages dealing with issues such as late monsoons, early pests, quality control of composts and cotton fibre.
Recently we learned about the Ethical Fashion Forum putting up a blog on the site of leading fashion magazine Drapers: http://www.drapersonline.com/the-ethical-fashion-forum
THIS IS GREAT news !! Well done EFF.
Zameen also managed to convince the mainstream media to pay attention – or rather the Ashoka Foundation put them on to us. This was in the social enterprise special of India’s leading OUTLOOK magazine.
It seems sustainable textiles is becoming mainstream which is good news for farmers and factory workers worldwide.
Now that the sector is growing it is time to bring in some clarity. A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section of the movement if you will. Till now anyone who did anything green and fair was a pioneer. No longer… More about “what to do” in the next blog entry.
Meanwhile, sit back, relax and stay true to the cause
Zameen is a unique farmer-owned Fairtrade and organic cotton trading company working to improve market access for marginalised farmers in India through certification, supply chain partnerships and organisational development. Fields of Dreams is your behind the scenes peek at how we work with farmers to shape Zameen’s direction and get more of the value locked in your clothes back to the farmers.
All Zameen farmers are Fairtrade certified, which guarantees a stable minimum price and a social premium (an additional sum) which is democratically invested in projects that benefit the whole community. With Fairtrade, there is no exploitation or child labour, there is empowerment and movement towards gender equality.
Zameen farms are pesticide-free and are either organic certified or in organic conversion. This adds value to the farmers’ crops and cuts their input costs in half. Cutting out agrochemicals also improves farmer health and soil quality, reduces green house gas emissions and helps the local environment.
Zameen chose to set up in Southern India because of the terrible farmer suicide epidemic that has swept across the region fuelled by unmanageable debt. Zameen farmers do not need to take on loans to buy expensive, dangerous and often ineffective chemicals. They can finally escape the clutches of moneylenders and enjoy dignified, self-sustaining livelihoods.
As shareholders, Zameen farmers make decisions about the direction of their business as well as sharing in the profits. Follow their journey from small-holders exploited by unfair trade to independent international businesspeople with a mission to clean up the textile trade.
Paul, Zameen Comms Manager