Fashion Revolution Week Day 2

The ”Fairtrade Produkt-Siegel” for cotton

The focus of the product label of cotton is primarily on the fair cultivation of the raw cotton and, if applicable, on the ginning integrated into the cultivation. For the further steps up to the finished product, compliance with the ILO core labor standards in the production chain during further processing applies to all parties involved. Compliance with the standards in the process of ginning, spinning, dyeing, knitting, weaving, wet finishing, and confectioning is checked by FLO-CERT.  Accordingly, a physical tracking is given, which reaches back to the producer organization, which grows the cotton in the Global South.

For textiles to be awarded the Fairtrade Cotton label, there are substantive requirements, including the payment of the Fairtrade minimum price, which enables workers to cover the costs of sustainable production. If the local market price is higher than the minimum price, the higher price must be paid. In addition, the cultivation of organic cotton is remunerated with a higher minimum price than that of conventionally grown cotton. When purchasing Fairtrade cotton, buyers also pay the so-called Fairtrade premium of 5 cents per kilogram of cotton, which can be invested by the workers and farmers in infrastructure, education, or social projects of their choice. Furthermore, an environmentally friendly production method with strong environmental standards for the protection of the workers and efficient water use in cultivation is taken as a basis.  There is a general ban on the use of genetically modified seeds and chemicals. Fairtrade prohibits exploitative child labor as well as forced labor and discrimination and supports them in freedom of association and democracy.

There is no official cotton standard on which the label is based, but the combination of the "Small Producer Organisation Standard", the "Fibre Crop Standard" for cultivation, and the "Trader Standard" for further processing covers a range of basic points for a consistently fair product.



The Fairtrade Textile Standard