Could This Small Cohort Of Startups Transform The $3 Trillion Fashion Industry?

by MR Magazine Staff

An American is collaborating with Indian farmers to build a new kind of business model for cotton farming. If successful, it could revolutionize India’s cotton farming industry and push companies in the US on a more environmentally-sound path. That’s great news for the $3 billion fashion industry that’s been targeted as the second-largest polluter in the world. But can it work? More than 50% of India’s population is in agriculture and related industries. They make up nearly 20% of the country’s GDP. Yet, stories of farmer suicides have been plaguing the country throughout the last 5 years. In 2013, for instance, nearly 12,000 farmers committed suicide; that would be on average more than 40 deaths a day. Cotton is one of India’s specialty crops; it’s also the second largest producer of cotton, after China. Yet more than 90% of the cotton is produced using conventional methods and with GMO seeds. The trouble with GMO seeds is that they cannot be used over and over again. That means farmers have to dole out more cash to buy more seeds after every harvest. In fact, the seed back for organic cotton had nearly disappeared had it not been for this enterprising co-op. Read more at Forbes.