Leading figures from the Australian fashion and textile sector recently toured Narrabri’s cotton industry – visiting a farm, gin and research station to learn first-hand about the raw materials that go into cotton garments and homewares.
The event incorporated a tour of a fully certified myBMP cotton farm at Auscott’s Narrabri, where attendees saw cotton harvesting and processing in action, followed by presentations from world-leading cotton scientists at the Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI).
“The tour connected both ends of the cotton supply chain allowing brand owners, retailers and designers to meet and learn from the farmers who grow some of the world’s highest quality, sustainable natural fibres,” says Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay.
“Attendees were able to stand in a cotton field to feel and touch the fibre for themselves, ride in a cotton harvester, talk directly to growers and industry, see cotton being ginned and hear from our excellent research scientists.”
“The response from the enthusiastic participants was phenomenal – they came away with a much better knowledge of how our cotton is grown, harvested, processed, classed and shipped, and our industry’s commitment to sustainable production with full traceability.”
“Importantly, they also understand that Australia is at the cutting edge of our social responsibilities in the workforce area, as well as how research and development underpins the improvements of the industry over three decades.”
Mr Kay says some tour participants were surprised to learn of the industry’s sustainability achievements, such as a reduction in insecticide use of more than 90% over the past 15 years, and a water efficiency increase of more than 40% since 2003.
“Global interest in sustainable, responsible cotton production continues to build, and so events like this play a vital role in informing important stakeholders about how our industry operates, and why they can place their trust in our growers and industry,” Mr Kay says.