Opt for fair trade cotton

CWS and Fairtrade: making the world a fairer place. Happy World Fairtrade Day 2023!

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13 May 2023 Workwear

The numbers are staggering: the cotton industry is worth more than 50 billion Euro a year. And as much as 26 million tonnes of cotton are harvested every year. If every small farmer and worker could benefit from this, the world would be a paradise. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Fortunately, the international Fairtrade system is gaining ground step by step.

More than a logo

Fairtrade is much more than a certification system with a well-known logo. It is one of the largest and most diverse global movements driving fundamental change. Fairtrade's mission is to make the world a fairer place. The goal of every Fairtrade organisation is to end poverty everywhere and in all its forms. One of the best ways to achieve this is by paying farmers a fair price for their produce and workers a fair wage for their labour. This allows them to build a sustainable livelihood.

So much more than SDGs

In September 2015, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim is to achieve them by 2030. Fairtrade wholeheartedly endorses these goals and is working on, among other things:

  1. Income sustainability based on minimum prices.
  2. Ecological sustainability with environmentally friendly farming practices.
    Fairtrade works with farmers to stop or reduce the use of agrochemicals and supports them to adapt to changing climate patterns.
    Community development.
  3. Fairtrade is the only system where farmers and workers have 50% ownership. This means they have a say in how it works and their future. The community votes on how that money is spent.
  4. Safe working conditions and a ban on discrimination, child labour and slave labour.
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Fair and eco-friendly workwear

The entire cotton chain is long, complicated and not always transparent. It is thus impossible to even fathom or influence all factors. This is why CWS has chosen to focus on the very first stage of production in cooperation with Fairtrade for the time being. CWS has committed to increasing the share of Fairtrade cotton in workwear year on year. And fixed purchase volumes have been agreed. This directly helps farmers and workers by providing them with planning security, among other things.

With its long-term concept of regularly adding new Fairtrade products to its collections, CWS is shaping its own CSR goals. And at least as important: CWS responds to customer demand. Because choosing clothes made of responsibly grown cotton is choosing for a better world. After all, every company, big or small, has a responsibility to reduce its own sustainability footprint. Every step taken in this respect directly reflects on its own staff (they wear first-class workwear!) and on its customers and business associates.

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It's so easy to choose, don't you think?

All CWS garments made from Fairtrade cotton bear a Fairtrade label. This tells the wearer immediately that the material is made of fairly produced and traded cotton. A garment made of a combined cotton-polyester fibre may also carry this label, provided that 100% of the cotton used is Fairtrade certified.

Meanwhile, there are already a number of collections that incorporate Fairtrade cotton, for example the Pro Line, Cotton Line and 220 Days. The cotton is very breathable, soft to the touch and wonderfully supple. Cotton combined with (preferably recycled) polyester makes the garments sufficiently robust and hard-wearing.

There is a lot of cotton on the market, but if you choose workwear made of Fairtrade cotton, you empower small-scale farmers and encourage the cotton industry to become sustainable. CWS makes that choice easy!