Buying Fairtrade cotton

Lots of us care about how we look – and buying clothes made with Fairtrade cotton means we can be a follower of fashion and at the same time help low paid cotton farmers around the world.

Indian Cotton Farmer

Cotton farmers in developing countries, including leading producers like India and China, live in hardship. As many as 100 million households are directly engaged in cotton production and an estimated 300 million people work in the cotton sector when family labour, farm labour and workers in ancillary services such as transportation, ginning, baling and storage are taken into account. For farmers, the challenges range from the impact of climate change, poor prices for seed cotton, through to competition from highly subsidised producers in rich countries and poor terms of trade.

Fairtrade cotton was launched to put the spotlight on these farmers who are often left invisible, neglected and poor at the end of a long and complex cotton supply chain. Through tools like the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium and stronger, more democratic organisations, Fairtrade has sought to provide these farmers with an alternative route to trade and higher, more stable incomes. 

If you’d like to get hold of Fairtrade cotton items for your workplace, event, school or promotion, you can find more information in the National Fairtrade Purchasing Guide.

Read more about Fairtrade cotton.