Marimekko has signed an agreement with international NGO Solidaridad to support a capacity building program aimed especially to female farmers in Senegal. The training program will start in March 2015 and its goal is to reach all in all 9000 farmers of which 1800 are women. The capacity building program focuses on raising awareness on better working conditions in cotton farming.
The collaboration is a part of Marimekko’s Better Cotton Initiative membership requirement of allocating direct farmer support to cotton farmers. Senegal was chosen as the recipient of the support because in the Marimekko printing mill base fabrics are often made at least partly of West-African cotton mixed with cotton from other countries. In Africa, cotton is mainly farmed by smallholders and the environmental footprint of African cotton is relatively small because in Africa, the cotton fields are rain-fed and do not need artificial irrigation. Cotton farming is an important cash crop for many African farmers in addition to food crops. Along with the capacity building project Marimekko gets a direct link to cotton farmers and the goal is, that some of the cotton farmed by the capacity building project in Senegal will eventually be sourced to Marimekko’s supply chain.
Better Cotton Initiative: bettercotton.org