Earthsight Report

Just published, a detailed investigative report by Earthsight exposes the gruesome, unregulated cotton landscape that we aim to counter with our OCCGuarantee®, from seed to garment, certification.

Evidence shows that major fashion brands are sourcing cotton from Brazil’s Bahia state, linked to a range of concerning issues including land grabbing, illegal deforestation, violence, human rights violations, and corruption. Large agribusinesses in the area are endangering the livelihoods of farmers, locals and the area’s rich biodiversity, proving the importance of our family farm model that benefits the community and landscape.
A True Transparency Model

This article emphasizes the need to look beyond the Better Cotton Initiative, the world’s largest cotton certification scheme, as it failed to detect illegalities and large-scale environmental destruction. We hope to serve as a model for true industry transparency. 

Our Brazil project originated from the need for complete honesty and trust, which we have accomplished through the close relationship with farmers, families and activists on the ground. We supervise 100% of the process, from the cultivation and harvest of cotton fibre to its transformation into clothing pieces. We are grateful for our trusted team member, Diogenes, working from Brazil, and relaying details of the farm activity. 

The multiple steps we take ensure well being on the farms are integral to our practice:

  • We enter into indefinite annual contracts with farmers, ensuring economic stability for all the families involved in the Project.
  • We provide cotton seeds free of charge and finance each harvest by paying in advance for the projected production of each farmer.
  • 10% of the value we pay annually for the cotton is reinvested in improvements in the community’s production system.
  • Our commitment to the project involves gradually and steadily increasing the number of families participating, collectively nurturing a progressively robust circular economy.
Agro Regenerative Farming

According to the report, agribusinesses in western Bahia extract nearly two billion litres of water per day – enough to supply 12 million people. And they’re also to blame for dumping 600 million litres of pesticides on the Cerrado every year. Our OCCRegenerative® Brazil cotton is completely rainfed and pesticide free, demonstrating that it is not a problem of the crop being “thirsty” and easily susceptible to pests, but a problem of the system. 

The family farmers are the core of the Social Project in Brazil, and the true stakeholders in our company. With traditional expertise in agro-regenerative farming practices, they provide us with the most sustainable, naturally coloured cotton, while growing 3-4 other crops for their consumption or business. We exclusively involve families of smallholder farmers who own their own plots of land, generally not exceeding 1 hectare, vastly different from the large scale agribusinesses clearing chunks of land for production.

As the article maps out, there is a pressing need for reform in the global cotton industry, and Brazil, holding 20% of the world’s biological diversity, must be protected. We hope to lead by example, enabling cotton production that holds no dark secrets, and instead honors our connection to the earth and empowers farmers.

Stay tuned for interviews with our farmers, soon to be published.