Transforming the lives of 4,000 organic cotton farmers in India
We are collaborating with Water.org in the Madhya Pradesh region through affordable financing for access to safe water and sanitation
Via a new project with the international non-profit organisation Water.org, over the next three years we will earmark more than $420,000 to facilitate the provision of small, affordable loans to 4,000 organic cotton farmers participating in the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) programme in the region of Madhya Pradesh.
The objective of this initiative is to help farmers and their families gain access to improved water and sanitation facilities.
Indeed, the organic cotton used by Zara in its new Join Life capsule collection, Care for Water, has been sourced from farms in the Indian region of Madhya Pradesh.
That cotton is grown using natural fertilisers and pesticides and requires a relatively small amount of water. Over the past year, Inditex placed 103 million 100%-certified organic cotton garments on the market, year-on-year growth of 75%.
At Inditex we view water as a crucial resource that warrants a specific policy with the dual objectives of delivering access to safe water and sanitation to individuals and upholding the best sustainability practices in the wet processes involved in the production of textiles.
To that end we have developed an ambitious policy which we share with all of our suppliers and have undertaken a series of awareness-raising and drinking water campaigns in a number of communities as part of our bid to achieve fully sustainable water management.
A good example of this strategy is our involvement in the Bangladesh Water PaCT, an international initiative striving to enhance the environmental and social performance of wet processing factories in Bangladesh.
We have donated $4 million to Water.org since December 2015, benefiting over one million people living in Bangladesh and Cambodia – an overachievement of our goal by a factor of six.
Further, thanks to Inditex's support, Water.org has catalyzed $65 million in lending by local financial institutions in Bangladesh and Cambodia for household water and sanitation services – 11X the original lending target.