KAPAS KAHANI

Kapas Kahani (Urdu words that translate to “Cotton Story” in English)

Kapas Kahani (the cotton stories) aims to view cotton in positive light and give visibility to the various characters of the cotton ecosystem.

There is a plethora of sustainable cotton standards and programs in the market. One very legit question is why a new standard is needed? The answer is simple. Existing cotton standards are focused on a particular area for improvement e.g. in best management practices or at the farm level. There are none that views cotton supply chain as a whole ecosystem and proposes interventions based on the complex inter-relationships of all supply chain players. Milliner Cotton intends to do just that.

Mr. Omer Ahmed

CEO, Artistic Milliners

1.1

CEO Statement

Cotton is considered a highly sensitive crop that demands extra care and management during its life cycle. Under the conventional methods of cultivation, which overlooks and condones the physical and chemical contamination of not only the produce but the environment as well, it is known to have far-reaching adverse effects on the environment in addition to the downgrading of yarn, fabric or garment. WWF-Pakistan and Artistic Milliners have joined forces to promote “prevention is better than cure”. The purpose is to ensure that apt and critical processes are created and followed as well as pragmatic practices are implemented at the farm and gin level to ensure immaculate quality standards thus creating a quality brand “Milliner Cotton”. WWF-Pakistan appreciates Artistic Milliners’ efforts of improving not only the lives of the people involved in cotton farming but the environment as well.

Hammad Naqi

Director General, WWF-Pakistan

1.2

Message from our partners

Pilot Project Duration

2019 2022
2020

Number of Bales

0 90000
15000

Alternative Livelihood for Farmer Families

0 300
100

Famers Capacity Development

0 500
300

Model Villages

0 4
0

In its first stage, MCI- or Milliner Cotton Initiative is launched with a pilot phase for 3 years from 2020 to 2022. Track our progress as we update this page on quarterly basis.

1.3

MCI in numbers

Milliner Cotton is unique in its scope in terms of covering the entire journey of cotton from farm to the mill. The Standard covers all stages of preharvest, harvest and postharvest quality parameters. The need for these parameters has been identified after studying various standards in the market and analyzing the gaps therein.

Milliner Cotton builds on and corroborates on the existing standards of cotton to raise the bar on cotton quality and sustainability.

1.4

The Standard Parameters

EXPLORE THE JOURNEY

Most standards are limited to best practices at the farm only. Others focus on the type of agricultural inputs used. Yet others cover the fair and equitable wages aspect for farmers. Milliner cotton is an all-encompassing standard covering all frontiers of sustainability, all players of supply chain from farm to mill and at the same time, ensuring scalability of the standard for all to adopt.

Milliner Cotton is being piloted at Rahim Yar Khan (RYK). District-wise, RY Khan is not only the leading producer of cotton in the country but the silver fibre grown here is of the best quality. There are more than 150 cotton ginning mills located in RYK

This district is divided into three main physical features which are riverside area, canal irrigated area and desert area called Cholistan.

2.1

THE LAND OF MCI

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade supports smallholder farmers- it ensures farmers get a fair price so even when the price or value of cotton drops in the local market, theirs would stay the same. There is also the fair trade premium- over and above the selling price. The farmers decide as a cooperative to use this premium to address any social need- education, health, WASH etc.

Fairtrade cotton need is traceable because it has to be identified as Fairtrade at all steps of the supply chain and in all relevant documents and packaging.

We aim to get MCI cotton harvested in the third year of the project and further onwards, get it Fairtrade certified.

2.2

FAIR TRADE ADVANTAGE

We believe Digitization is one of the most significant tools for ensuring transparency in cotton supply chain. Milliner cotton will employ Industry 4.0 tools such as IoT and cloud based applications in 2 primary ways:

  • For precision farming based on ecological and environmental data
  • For bringing visibility to the various upstream stakeholders that farm our cotton

2.3

Digitization

Biodiversity is the variety of life forms found in an environment. In cotton farms in general, indiscriminate use of chemicals and fertilizers results in loss of biodiversity. Milliner Cotton farmers adopt practices such as crop rotation and encourage beneficial insects and predator pests into cotton crops as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems.

2.4

FARMLAND BIODIVESITY

In transportation of cotton from farm to middlemen to ginners and then to mill, cotton is exposed to trash content all through the way. This combined with practices such as using non-cotton picking and bale bags add synthetic fiber impurities to cotton.

Milliner cotton farmers use specially engineered 100% cotton picking bags and ginners employ re-useable fabric bale packaging for cotton contamination prevention and quality control.

2.5

ECO LOGISTICS

Milliner Cotton is spun via finest and cutting edge spinning technology comprised of Japanese, Swiss and German equipment. The highly automated plant ensures precision in spinning process and clean and efficient production environment.

2.6

MC MILL

Socio-economic intervention to establish model villages in areas where Milliner Cotton is farmed. A standard model village includes schools and hospitals, planned housing, road networks and sanitation etc.

2.7

Model Village

MEET THE PEOPLE

Women cotton pickers have seasonal income owing to seasonal nature of cotton harvesting. Milliner Cotton Initiative aims to provide alternative livelihoods (home based small enterprises such as micro nurseries, kitchen gardening, poultry units etc.) to 300 farmer families by 2022.

3.1

WOMEN COTTON PICKERS

MCI aims to provide life skills training to women cotton pickers to help them succeed in life. These include topics such as Communication, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Financial Literacy etc.

3.2

LIFE SKILLS TRAINING

Small land holding farmers have to depend on a broker for in-kind loans which can unfortunately be low quality seeds and adulterated fertilizers at a high cost. Milliner Cotton Initiative plans to give quality farm inputs to farmers at subsidized rates; and also provide Best Management Training to farmers to minimize farming cost and maximize farm yield.

3.3

MCI FARMERS

MCI aims to empower the ginners by helping them invest in newer technologies, and work with them to reduce contamination in cotton picking and transportation systems.

3.4

FROM THE GIN

MILLINER COTTON AND SDGs

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework for responsible business based on UN Declarations and Conventions. With Milliner Cotton Initiative, we intend to work towards the following SDGs and align our work to the global 2030 sustainability agenda.

Organic cotton farmers are not exposed to toxic chemicals.

Life skills training for women farmers.

Alternative livelihood for women such as micro-nurseries and poultry units.

Local water sources are not contaminated through hazardous chemicals.

Certified to Fair Trade standard.

Digitization to ensure transparency in supply chain.

Fair and equitable wages for farmers.

Establishing Model villages in MCI farm areas.

Reusable cotton picking bags and MCI bale packaging.

Creates self-stabilizing agro-ecosystems and habitat restoration.

Usage of eco-friendly chemicals which are not harmful for marine life.

Increased biodiversity.

Partnership with WWF and brand partners.

LINK TO OTHER SOURCING PROJECTS

Watch the documentaries on our other sustainable sourcing projects:


CONTACT US

Artistic Milliners, Plot 4 & 8, Sector 25, Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi, Pk.

  +92 21 111-263-646

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