The cotton industry can be thirsty, toxic and exploitative, but the Barcelona/London based Cotton Diaries believes there are better ways to do things.
In 2017, Marzia Lanfranchi and Angus Dunsire founded this global community of storytellers and professionals working in the field of cotton, fashion and sustainability, that aims to transform the way we grow, make, source and use cotton. Their idea is to spark “change from crop to cloth – one story at a time”.
Cotton Diaries focuses on the good side of cotton production, on the people that are creating real change to inspire positive action. From tackling water scarcity by revolutionising the dyeing process to empowering women and girls by providing access to the better education, these stories proved that innovations and new waves of thinking are already there making the cotton industry more sustainable.
“We believe the right stories, told well, can connect us to issues that feel too big or too distant to influence. Most of all we believe in the power of the individual to affect change, one story at a time”
Watch this story of cotton farmers producing toxic-free t-shirts:
Cotton Diaries commitment is to make cotton supply chains more sustainable. In 2020 they launched the “Cotton Sustainability Manifesto”, providing a clear overview of who they are, what they do and why they do it, by highlighting their founding beliefs and the multiple ways to get involved.
They come together with their growing community of experts and researchers to discuss the most pressing issues in the industry on a regular basis organically to respond to specific project demands and urgent issues.They’ve also included younger voices, as they believe creating an intergenerational space will make them stronger, more resilient and innovative.
This year, Cotton Diaries has launched a content collaboration with Uwe H. Martin, the independent visual storyteller behind the documentary project White Gold, a series of short films and photo documentaries exploring the social and ecological consequences of global cotton farming. Each month, in addition to the Cotton Diaries update email, subscribers receive an email with photos from the White Gold project that bring to life the impacts of the conventional cotton trade in one of five key cotton-producing regions: India, Brazil, the Aral Sea, Texas, and Burkina Faso – subscribe here to receive it.
Furthermore, they keep supporting journalists and media that pursue less superficial and simplistic narratives around cotton sustainability, by connecting them with quality information and on-the-ground sources.
Marzia Lanfranchi & Angus Dunsire, Founders & Creative Directors
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