How we work

CottonConnect builds capacity and connects the whole supply chain so you can feel confident in transparency and knowledge of the entire supply chain and how it works.

Cotton Farming





Garment Production

How we can help you

We deliver business, environmental and social benefits, both to retailers and brands and to smallholder farmers and their communities.

We provide the following services for our clients and partners:


1. Supply chain optimisation

With a depth of knowledge and experience on supply chain as well as farming community expertise our local teams support you to transform your cotton supply chains, driving value for you and the society.

Mapping the supply chain & Volume and risk analysis

Looking at core supply chains and mapping back from Tier 1 suppliers through to farm level, highlighting opportunities and risks. We have dedicated supply chain specialists in key cotton origin markets and has a proven approach to mapping supply chains, identifying opportunities and mitigating risks.

Supply Chain and Employee Engagement

Building relationships that provide added engagement and education opportunities at all levels across the supply chain, while managing and coordinating employee workshops and visits to cotton producing regions. We bring together stakeholders, internal buying teams and suppliers for supply chain meetings, as well as organise and facilitate supplier and internal buying team workshops to improve the knowledge /awareness of sustainable cotton and cotton supply chains

Sustainable procurement

We know that it is important that the right fibre is available when needed and at a competitive cost. We enable you to create good supplier relationships and provide on-the-ground support to link sustainable fibre into your supply chain.

Transparency and Verification

Tracking performance against your goals and ensuring due diligence in supply chains from farm to manufacturing. Our end-to-end supply chain mapping and traceability of supply delivers reassurance on sustainable cotton supply.

Our bespoke, bottom-up proprietary traceability software tool Tracebale provides visibility on the difficult to track last mile to the farmer transactions: verifying farm production against ginner procurement. TraceBale ID data can be integrated into existing Yarn ID systems to provide a full view of the cotton supply chain.


2. Sustainable agricultural practices

Enabling sustainable fibre supply and cotton farming through farmer training programmes, developing knowledge of technological solutions and building local expertise. CottonConnect recognizes the importance of maintaining the balance between ecological systems in nature. CottonConnect trains cotton farmers to address an over dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides in order to preserve the biodiversity of their farms.

REEL Cotton Farming

The REEL Cotton Programme is a specially designed 3 year agricultural training course delivered by CottonConnect that promotes sustainable cotton farming practices. The programme recognises that by improving cotton farmer education and business practices, significant impacts can be made to improve community livelihoods and the environmental impact of cotton. REEL stands for ‘Responsible, Environment, Enhanced Livelihoods’.

The REEL Cotton Code (download factsheet) is a code of conduct developed with and independently verified by third party FLOCERT. CottonConnect along with FLOCERT, which specializes at translating sustainability programmes into private codes, went through a rigorous multistakeholder consultation process to arrive at the current version of the REEL code. The code verifies that farmers in CottonConnect’s REEL Cotton Programme are using sustainability practices.

Click here to read a case study of work with Primark. The full code is available to download here.

Organic integrity and farmer training

Supporting farmers to grow good quality organic cotton, securing organic cotton for the future and testing the integrity. We can also support with the organic certification process.

Our organic training programme covers multiple aspects of agronomic interventions with a focus on good agricultural practices, organisation of farmer collectives and biodiversity. Click here to read a case study.

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
A man works at a ginning factory. Photograph by Adeel Halim for Cotton Connect.

We are an implementation partner for Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) enabling farmer training and working to grow Better Cotton in India and China for multiple brand partners.
We have trained over 52,000 farmers producing over 366,000 MT of BCI lint cotton.


3. Thriving lives and livelihoods

Societal transformation for farmers and the communities connected to cotton farming through extended training focusing on decent work, gender equality, business skills, economic growth and human rights.

Women Empowerment - REEL Rights and Life Skills Education

Working with women to increase their knowledge and confidence though an education programme which covers health, rights and enterprise development.

Click here to read our report on gender equality.

Graduate Farmer Business School - REEL Business
Organic cotton farmer

By focusing on financial literacy and financial management we encourage farmers to see their farm as a business.  We are introducing farmers to new technologies, microfinance and credit.

Human Rights

Knowing and optimising the supply chain through improved traceability and verification so that cotton is produced with respect for Human Rights principles.

We aim for decent working conditions including no child labour and gender inclusion in all our programmes. Click here to read more about CottonConnect’s child labour statement and awareness practices against child labour in the programmes.

CottonConnect is committed to ensuring the labour rights of workers employed within its programmes and on the farms which are a part of its projects. CottonConect will not make use of or encourage any form of forced labour and spreads awareness within the communities against adopting such unethical labour practices. Please see the detailed statement on CottonConnect’s forced labour and workers’ rights.

Ginner Health & Safety Training
© Kabeer Lal 2016

Addressing labour issues helps gain more transparency in your supply chain. With our Health and Safety training programme for workers and management in cotton gins we establish improved working conditions in the ginning sector. Though our training we promote the use of personal protective equipment, safe working conditions and human rights, providing a better working environment.