ImagesMagUK_June_2021 34 images JUNE 2021 ORGANIC APPAREL KB Why are there shortages? “When we switched all the cotton in our garments to organic in 2019, it was done over several years to signal to our suppliers we would be requiring higher volumes of organic cotton and giving them the chance to prepare,” explains Prama, adding that many larger clothing brands have responded to the climate crisis by increasing their use of sustainable fibres, including organic cotton. While this is great, Prama points out that with so many switching at once the supply hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. “We have also seen the supply rocked by accusations of human rights M antis World has been championing organic cotton since bringing it to the brandable garments market in 2005, advocating for the benefits it offers both the farmers who grow it and the environment in which it is grown. However, according to Mantis CEO and founder Prama Bhardwaj, lately there have been severe shortages along with unprecedented price increases around the world. With organic cotton accounting for only 1% of the total cotton grown, there simply isn’t enough of it, she says: “Global demand for organic cotton has now taken over the current supply.” Prama Bhardwaj of Mantis World explains what in-conversion cotton is, and its benefits violations on cotton farms in Xinjiang, China, and a sophisticated fraud scandal surrounding organic certification in India,” she adds. “Between the two countries, they account for roughly 68% of all organic cotton production in the world. Brands and governments are taking steps to block cotton coming out of Xinjiang, while certifiers do their job and remove fraudulent Indian organic cotton from the market. This has left a massive gap in the supply.” All of these challenges in procuring organic cotton highlight the importance of the garment decoration industry now supporting the use of in-conversion cotton, believes Prama. Cottoning on to the organic journey Prama Bhardwaj