Cottonforlife’s farmers meet fashion brands and retailers
Passion, perseverance and partnerships, three keywords that are making Cottonforlife program a driving force for change and improvement for the Egyptian cotton sector. Together with UNIDO and the initiative “The Egyptian Cotton Project” and in collaboration with the Cotton Egypt Association, have been shared precious moments with Egyptian farmers, important international fashion brands and various actors of the textile and fashion sector. At Kafr El Sheick in the Nile Delta, was celebrated the first harvest of Egyptian cotton cultivated, as pilot project, according to the Better Cotton System. Representatives of Christian Dior Couture, Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss, Marks & Spencer’s, John Lewis and Macy’s met farmers and small owners who embraced the challenge of sustainability, adopting innovative agricultural techniques and best practices to reduce the risk of contamination. The cotton producers and traders involved in the initiative have adopted zero tolerance for child labor and guarantee total traceability of the fibers. Under this framework and to promote a transparent and traceable cotton supply chain the guests were invited to witness the entire process of transforming the fiber into yarn, at our subsidiary in Egypt, Filmar Nile Textile. They have been able to see first-hand how the Filmar yarns are made, using cutting-edge green technologies and respecting the principles of a chemical-free fashion in line with the DETOX campaign and the ZDHC Program. To promote the value of a global partnership in favour of a socially inclusive and responsible cotton industry, the guests participated to a round table, organized in cooperation with UNIDO and the Cotton Egypt Association, during which Filmar’s pioneering role for having activated the Cottonforlife initiative was unanimously recognized and praised. Important was the participation in the discussion of the CEO of BCI, Alan McClay, who confirmed the interest and availability of the association to support the launch of the production of Better Cotton in Egypt. In taking the floor, the President of Filmar Nile Textile Enrico Marzoli confirmed that the demand for BCI and organic cotton is constantly increasing and for this reason he underlined how the fundamental principles, relating to human rights, labor standards and environmental protection are essential issues for all those who want to be competitive on the market. Mr. Marzoli also encouraged Egyptian policy makers to strengthen logistics services in the consideration of the importance of guaranteeing fast delivery times to their customers as a source of competitive advantage. Various issues were addressed during the debate, including blockchain solutions for traceability and for a truthful and quality story telling as well possible collaborations between cotton-textile stakeholders and Cottonforlife / UNIDO Project to guarantee a real support to cotton producers.