Bringing cotton products to life for John Lewis’ customers
John Lewis produces a bath mat range made using more sustainable cotton from their very first foundation cotton project in Gujarat, India.
The project, developed and implemented by CottonConnect, is funded and supported by the John Lewis Foundation, and aims to reduce input costs and improve livelihoods of 1,500 farmers over 3 years.
This project is one of CottonConnect’s programmes in South Asia and China, mainstreaming sustainability into brands’ conventional cotton supply chains.
The programme includes:
- Training both in classrooms and in the field on more sustainable farming practices, including water and pesticide use efficiency.
- Farmer Field Books are issued and completed during the cotton growing year and data collated at end of each crop season to record change and look at trends.
- Procurement support to buying, sourcing, procurement teams, linking the fibre created into the retailer’s supply chain.
“CottonConnect has done a great job. Finding credible and competent partners around the world is critical and they’ve ticked that box for us.”
Sean Allam, Director, Commercial Operations at John Lewis
The programme has already seen:
- More than 1,000 cotton farmers trained on more sustainable cotton production
- The CottonConnect sustainable cotton handbook proved so successful, even farmers not enrolled in the programme have asked for copies
- The launch of children’s activity events to support farmers with their childcare needs enabling them to attend sustainable cotton evening training courses
“Working with CottonConnect has enabled us to be directly involved with the farmers growing our cotton at the farm level, which means we are able to bring the complete story that sits behind our Foundation bath mat products to our customers. Visiting the farmers in Gujarat last month and seeing where the cotton for our products is grown was incredibly moving and interesting.”
Lucy Shaw, Responsible Sourcing Manager at John Lewis