British online fashion retailer, Boohoo Group, has announced a partnership with CottonConnect, an organisation that works with farmers in Pakistan to grow cotton using more sustainable production methods.
The partnership saw 2500 farmers trained on how to grow cotton more sustainably at specially created demonstration plots, allowing Boohoo to trace it back to the hamlet where it was grown.
The REEL (Responsible Environment Enhanced Livelihoods) cotton produced by Boohoo Group will result in a higher yield and net revenue for farmers, according to the company. It will also aid in the identification of Reel cotton goods that bear the ‘Ready For the Future’ label.
The REEL technique allows the company to trace and track cotton all the way through the supply chain, from picking the final cotton of the 2021 harvest to cleaning it before spinning it into yarn, weaving it into cloth, and dyeing it.
Cotton seeds caught during the cleaning process are either replanted or used as a by-product to make cooking oil or as fuel at a local firm as part of the sustainable production process.
Andrew Reaney, Director of Responsible Sourcing & Product Operations, said that they’re happy to be partnering with CottonConnect and the individual farmers in Pakistan. He had firsthand experience with the project and the benefits of the CottonConnect program, which include in-depth training, higher cotton yields, cheaper costs, and environmental benefits. They are devoted to assisting farmers, and as this is only the first year of their collaboration, they are excited to see what the future holds.
Abou Bakar, Programme Manager at CottonConnect, said that the idea is to give smallholder farmers and landless laborers, who are the backbone of rural economies, the tools they need to increase their incomes and enhance their livelihoods while also safeguarding the environment. Food safety and business continuity are achieved through sustainable strategies. They’ve forged a relationship with cotton growers in order to improve rural livelihoods and supply chains.