Fair Trade: Chaykra Production & Sourcing
chaYkra's clothing factory supports Fair Trade manufacture. Fairtrade is a global movement whose goal it is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and sustainability. Our factory has an SA8000 certification which is an auditable global standard for managing human rights in the workplace. This ensures ethical treatment of employees and the implementation of effective labour practices. As well as complying with the standard 'no child labour' and 'minimum wage' objectives, our factory also regulates maximum working hours and remunerates overtime work. Moreover, they also provide additional benefits including a company bus to take workers to and from the factory, subsided canteen meals, medical insurance and supporting education for the workers' children.
Our factory is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Below is an overview of GOTS minimum social criteria which protects the rights of our farmers and factory workers.
- Employment is freely chosen
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child Labour MUST not be used
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive
- No discrimination is practised
- Regular employment is provided
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited
We procure our cotton from Chetna Organic who works with more than 15,000 small and marginal farmers, helping them to improve their livelihood options and to increase the sustainability and profitability of their farming systems. Garments manufactured from Chetna cotton are completely traceable, right down to a specific farmer's field.
The cotton from Chetna Organic is fair trade certified. Producers receive a fairtrade premium on top of a Fairtrade minimum price. This premium has been used by the Chetna farmers groups to support a number of community-based and social projects. A warehouse has been constructed where cotton can be stored until low season when prices are higher. Previously, farmers were risking their families' health and safety by storing the cotton in their living spaces, where it could attract various fungi and insects, as well as posing a dangerous fire hazard. The premium has also been invested in social projects like starting up a nursery for the children of farm labourers, constructing a women's restroom and improving local sanitation facilities. Projects intended to create viable income generating opportunities have also been supported such as the construction of lentil and rice mills, a bio-fertilizer unit and the purchase of a tractor and cattle.
The below diagram shows how an organic cotton farming system might look on a small scale farm in India:
Benefits of organic cotton
At chaYkra all of our cotton is totally organic, grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment as well as proven benefits for the farmers.
Give back control to the farmers
Organic cotton seeds are non-genetically modified which allows farmers to source the seeds locally. Local organic inputs allow farmers to work within their environment in a sustainable manner. Organic cotton puts choices in the farmers hands, they don't have their choices controlled by GM companies.
Non-genetically modified seeds do not require as much water. In fact, according to a study by Textile Exchange in 2014, it was found that organic cotton plants potentially save 91% more water than conventional cotton.
Help farmers feed their families
Organic farmers grow, a diverse range of crops in order to maintain soil fertility and fight off pests. These crops are also a source of food, enabling farmers and their families to feed themselves and their communities. Any surplus food can be sold at local markets bringing an additional source of income and helping to insure against crop failure, climate variability, price volatility and changes in market demand.
Eliminate hazardous synthetic pesticides
Organic cotton plants are not treated with synthetic but herbal pesticides. This takes the toxic impact out of producing cotton, increasing soil fertility and protecting water quality.
Combat climate change
It is estimated that Organic cotton growing produces up to 94% less greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, growing organic cotton has a lower carbon footprint as there are less mechanical inputs involved in the process. For instance, the synthesis of natural and herbal pesticides, hand picking the cotton plants and reducing tractor operations and irrigation.