Raddis®Cotton System receives recognition around the globe

Raddis®Cotton System receives recognition around the globe

Regenerative farming is acknowledged by an increasing number of fashion labels as one of the most promising methods of material sourcing when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry and the preservation of biodiversity. As one of the frontrunners in regenerative organic cotton farming, the Raddis® System, developed by Women on Wings’ business partner Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development (GVK Society) is not only catching the attention of global fashion labels but also of the UN at the COP 15 Biodiversity Summit in Montreal.

Cotton farming is approaching a new era
Conventional non-organic farming is characterized by monocultures, excessive tillage, artificial irrigation, and intensive use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that threaten insects, birds, and small animal populations. Expensive chemicals disrupt their food chain, poison the soil, and are very harmful to human and environmental health. The expensive seeds and ever-increasing price pressures are also causing financial hardship for farming families. Regenerative agriculture on the contrary is considerate of natural resources, flora and fauna, and people. It deals consciously and intensively with the regeneration of the entire ecosystem.
Major fashion brands increasingly feel the urge to change and have committed to a progressive shift towards regenerative fashion. They are investing heavily in land for regenerative agriculture to grow their materials or working with companies to access materials that have been regeneratively grown. These include big names like Gucci, North Face, Eileen Fisher, Vans, Patagonia, Timberland, Stella McCartney and Reformation.

Raddis® as a solution
Raddis® is one of the world’s first regenerative organic cotton programs that attempts to improve vulnerable tribal women farmers` livelihood while regenerating the environment around them. RADDIS stands for RADically DISruptive and provides a comprehensive and regenerative farming concept for transparent and promising ways to rethink and transform the cotton value chain in a sustainable way. One acre of Raddis® farm has the potential to sequester about 3-4 tonnes of carbon annually. Improved biodiversity and soil water storage are key features of a Raddis® farm.
Fashion labels have found their way to Raddis®. Hugo Boss has been working with various partners, among which Raddis®Cotton, to drive regenerative farming. The company clearly states its objectives on its website: “Though agriculture has had a negative impact on soil health, biodiversity and the climate in the past, it can be transformed into a powerful nature-based solution. That’s why, after taking a close look at our supply chain, we are investing in our partners, who develop more resilient systems for the future through regenerative farming.”
The German fashion label Lässig also made a firm commitment to work with Raddis®. As a partner in the Raddis®System, they will actively contribute to regenerative cotton cultivation methods in South-East India and make a long-term commitment by consistently accompanying a relevant transformation path: from conventional, degenerative cotton cultivation to regenerative, organic cotton cultivation.

Praise of UN
GVK Society showcased the success story of Raddis® at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) held in December 2022 in Montreal, Canada. The biodiversity benefits and livelihood gains that GVK Society’s different approach to farming brought about caught the attention of the participants at COP 15. Impressed by the success stories of the cotton farmers, representatives from Mexico and Papua New Guinea evinced interest in replicating GVK Society’s approach to farming in their respective countries. Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary, United Nations, paid tribute to GVK Society. She appreciated the work of GVK Society in conserving biodiversity and implementing innovative models in parts of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh through indigenous women farmers in mitigating biodiversity and climate loss.

Image | Raddis®
Sources include articles in Bizz Buzz, Luxury Daily, South First and the websites of Hugo Boss and Lässig.

“Women on Wings is a success with a tremendous ambition for the future. We may think it might be tough, but the team will make it!”

Wout Dekker
Former Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Rabobank Nederland