LA-Based Company Launches The Largest Global Regenerative Organic Cotton Project

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Gallant International, an LA-based company and its factory partners, have worked with one of India’s most well-known organic cotton co-ops to transition more than 700 farmers to regenerative organic cotton. This winter, over 3500 acres of land has now been Regenerative Organic Certified™, making it one of the largest ROC projects in cotton globally.

Vikrant and Vizan Giri of Gallant International and Terra Thread.

“Now farmers will not only be participating in the most regenerative practices possible, they will be playing a major role in healing the planet—while making extra income from organic, fairtrade premiums and rotational crops,” says Vikrant Giri, Founder of Gallant International.

Gallant International, an LA-based company and its factory partners, have worked with one of India’s most well-known organic cotton co-ops to transition more than 700 farmers to regenerative organic cotton. This winter, over 3500 acres of land has now been Regenerative Organic Certified™, making it one of the largest ROC projects in cotton globally.

With this new certification, Gallant and its partners hope to spark a transformation in how organic cotton is farmed across the subcontinent, and bring more scrutiny to a supply chain that’s growing in demand annually yet lacking in true transparency.

“We’ve been using organic cotton for nearly a decade, and we’re just so thrilled to take it a step further with this certification. Now farmers will not only be participating in the most regenerative practices possible, they will be playing a major role in healing the planet—while making extra income from organic, fairtrade premiums and rotational crops. This certification is much more than just a checklist. We’re working to create a more holistic supply chain that takes care of everyone involved, not just the buyer,” says Vikrant Giri, Founder of Gallant International, and its sister company, Terra Thread, which specializes in bags and accessories made entirely out of organic cotton.

Gallant has been working alongside its factory partners and Chetna Organic, one of India’s most prominent organic cotton co-ops, to manufacture organic cotton bags, and accessories, made for a variety of clients in tech, beauty, corporates, brands, nonprofits, and even celebrities.

Chetna is known for their pioneering organic cotton farming practices, and its efforts across India to make cotton production more eco-friendly, traceable, and worthwhile for growers.

“With climate change a reality, both agriculture lands and forest covers shrinking, experts world over are advocating for agroecological and regenerative agricultural practices,” says Arun Ambatipudi, Executive Director of Chetna, a 100% farmer-owned organization. “For us, it’s imperative to promote a more holistic approach to farming, especially amongst its smallholder cotton farming communities living in the forest corridors.”

Chetna has long been at the forefront of the environmental movement in the country, offering an eco-friendly alternative to GMO cotton which is so pervasive in India.

“India grows much of the world's cotton but sadly with chemicals, pesticides and GMO seeds. We would like to change that by writing a new narrative for the cotton in the country by not only being organic and fairtrade but also with regenerative practices,” says R. Nanda Kumar, CEO of Chetna.

Regenerative Organic Certified™ is a relatively new certification spearheaded by the Regenerative Organic Alliance, a California-based non-profit founded by Patagonia, Dr. Bronner's, and the Rodale Institute. The certification program requires farming communities to meet a variety of criteria that prioritize soil health, animal welfare, and the social well-being of farmers and farmworkers. Regenerative practices on the farm include: intercropping, encouraging biodiversity, using organic inputs (ideally from within the farm’s ecosystem), little or no tilling, and crop rotation to keep soils covered year-round. In addition, the farming systems are certified to be fair-trade. Following these practices leads to the increase of organic matter in the soil and improves overall soil health while providing fair and just working conditions for farmers and workers.

Elizabeth Whitlow, Executive Director of ROA, says “Gallant emulates the best of the ROC program. The aspirational principles encoded in our standard are perfectly expressed by Vik, Gallant and his team. They have become allies and advocates for the farmers they are sourcing from and clearly demonstrated that they are on the regenerative journey with the hardworking humans in these communities. As I’ve come to know them, it is apparent that such principles are deeply intrinsic to who they are as people AND as a brand.”

In 2022, Gallant will be offering woven shirts, knitwear, bags and accessories made with ROC cotton. In addition, its sister company, Terra Thread, will become the first of its kind, using exclusively Regenerative Organic Certified™ cotton, and thus the first bag brand in the world specializing in ROC™ cotton.

Demand for organic cotton is rising in the industry. As the fashion industry realizes its massive ecological and social footprint, many brands are turning to organic cotton. While this is a welcomed step in the right direction, there are concerns about the traceability of this organic cotton, and if the growers actually benefited.

“To build a completely traceable supply chain, and that too committed to regenerative organic practices is crucial for us to show that fashion can benefit, not harm, the planet. That’s why we embarked on this process and are keen to see how we can expand it across farming communities in India,” says Giri.

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Gallant International is a California-based B Corp that works with businesses and nonprofits to produce customized, branded apparel, bags & accessories made entirely from organic cotton with fairtrade practices. Founded in 2009 by Vikrant Giri, Gallant works with over 375 companies helping them on their sustainable journey. https://www.gallantintl.com/

Terra Thread, led by Vizan Giri, carries forward Gallant’s ethics, vision, and mission to a new sector: backpacks, bags and accessories. Since most of the backpacks and bags are made from fossil fuel-based materials, Terra Thread offers an alternative: entirely organic cotton bags that are carbon-neutral, give back, and made in fair-trade factories. Terra Thread brand has been bought and mentioned by celebrities, featured in Forbes, NBC News, Tree Hugger, The Good Trade to name a few, and is sold in bookstores, and retail stores in the US, Australia, and Japan.
https://terrathread.com/

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