Our organic cotton

Our organic cotton

Why contract cultivation?
TAISHOBOSEKI's Organic Cotton

The world's production of organic cotton is about 0.7% of the total production of cotton.
Organic cotton production has been flat at less than 1% in recent years due to strict cultivation rules, certification costs and labor, and the development of genetically modified technology.
Organic cotton accounts for about 30% of the cotton used by TAISHOBOSEKI during the five years from April 2015 to March 2020, of which more than 60% is grown under contract.

Since the days when farming organic cotton was a difficult business, we promised to buy all of the cotton harvested in the fall of that year before farmers began planting, and we have supported contract farmers so that they can continue organic cultivation with peace of mind.
We will tell you the story of how we started to grow organic cotton under contract.

The trigger was brown cotton.

It was in 1993 that brown cotton first arrived at TAISHOBOSEKI.
It was brown cotton that was bred by Ms. Sally Fox, an advocate of organic cotton, so that it could be spun with great effort.
At first, brown cotton was introduced to other spinning manufacturers, but they were afraid that brown cotton would be mixed with white cotton, and after being refused by several companies, it arrived at TAISHOBOSEKI.

Since that time, we have not been afraid of failure nor bound by the old constitution or common sense of the spinning industry.

Is cotton good for the environment?

After meeting Ms. Sally, we started thinking about the environment.
At that time, it could be said that no spinning manufacturer had any sense of what an environmental crisis is. It was common knowledge in the industry that cotton, which is a natural fiber, is an environmentally friendly material.
However, we learned that the pesticides and defoliants used in cotton cultivation actually had an impact on the soil and air, so cotton being environmentally friendly, was not always the case.
We soon decided to use as much organic cotton as possible, which is produced under environmentally friendly rules.
We first started importing organic cotton from Texas and California, but the quality of the raw cotton we received was poor and it was very difficult to spin.
After importing poor quality cotton several times, we thought that the only way to get good cotton was by contract cultivation. We asked Ms. Sally, "Are there any farmers who grow quality organic cotton?"

Fateful encounter

Ms.Sally introduced us to Mr. Dosi Alvarez in New Mexico.
Since 1992, he has been cultivating high quality cotton such as the extra-long staple cottons Supima, as well as the long staple cotton Akara organically. This surprised us since we thought that organic cotton was of poor quality.
We had a strong desire to use Mr. Alvarez's cotton, but we couldn't because he had an exclusive cultivation contract with Swiss spinning.
Over the next few years, we struggled against poor quality organic cotton, but the turning point came in 2000.
Swiss spinning went bankrupt, and TAISHOBOSEKI was asked to sign a contract with Alvarez Farm. In response to the offer, TAISHOBOSEKI promised to "use all the harvested organic cotton," and the long-awaited contract cultivation started. And in 2002, the first organic cotton from Alvarez farm arrived at TAISHOBOSEKI.
The raw cotton from the Alvarez farm sparked the creativity of the engineers and ignited their craftsmanship. Until then, it was difficult to spin 40th yarn, but now 120th yarn can be spun.
We have developed and released extremely soft twisted and extra-fine count yarns one after another, and have acquired a new class of users.
In recognition of our pioneering efforts to protect the environment through our business, we received the "MAINICHI Fashion Award" in 2008, which has been awarded to many prominent fashion designers. In 2010, we were certificated by both GOTS and The OCS for the first time as a Japanese producer of spun cotton, and appealed to the market the importance of raw material sustainability and traceability.
From then until now, we continue to undergo annual audits and have maintained certification without interruption.

Connect bonds

We visit the farm every year and have a sustainable relationship with Ms.Sally and Mr.Alvarez.
From 2018, with the introduction of Ms. Sally, we started a new contract cultivation with Mr. David in Texas.
Although he is still a young man in the mid-30s, he scientifically grows organic cotton and practices efficient farming without wasting water resources.

We have built a relationship of trust with farmers through contract cultivation, and have met them in person to learn about seeds, water, pesticides, fertilizers, and much more.
We believe that it is our responsibility as an upstream company to accurately convey the above information and improve the environment of the entire supply chain.