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Lidl first UK retailer to convert staff uniforms to Fairtrade cotton

07 Mar '22
2 min read
Pic: Fairtrade Foundation
Pic: Fairtrade Foundation

Lidl GB will be the first UK retailer to convert all its cotton staff uniforms to Fairtrade, a third-party certification that partners with farmers and workers to negotiate better prices and a fairer deal overall. Fairtrade works with cotton farmers to stop or reduce the usage of agrochemicals and supports them to adapt to changing climate patterns.

The uniform range is being rolled out across all stores, with a commitment to purchase 330,000 shirts, trousers, polo tops and chinos, and will be worn by the retailer’s 22,000 store colleagues. This equates to a volume of 175 metric tonnes of Fairtrade certified cotton, benefiting farmers in India.

This year marks the second anniversary of Fairtrade’s climate campaign Choose the World You Want asking the British public to get behind Fairtrade so that farmers in low-income countries can benefit from fairer prices, trading practices and the resources needed to tackle climate change, Fairtrade said in a press release.

“We’re delighted to be the first UK retailer to convert all of our store team uniforms to Fairtrade cotton, opening up a valuable market for Fairtrade cotton farmers around the world. Not only will this move significantly benefit the farmers who grow the cotton in our uniforms, but it will mean that our store colleagues will have access to uniforms made from high quality, sustainably sourced fabric which they can wear with great pride. This new development builds on our long-standing commitment to Fairtrade which sees Lidl GB sells over 100 different types of Fairtrade certified products every year, as well as being the UK’s largest retailer of Fairtrade Cocoa- with 22 per cent of the Fairtrade Cocoa solid in the UK coming from Lidl GB,” Amali Bunter, Lidl GB’s head of responsible sourcing and ethical trade.

Fairtrade cotton fields are rain-fed, reducing the region’s water footprint. Fairtrade Standards protect cotton farmers’ health and safety and ban genetically modified cotton seeds and Fairtrade encourages and empowers producers to protect the natural environment as an integral part of their farm management.

“Lidl’s uniform conversion means so much to cotton farmers who are finding themselves on the frontlines of the climate crisis and have suffered so much as a result of the global pandemic. To be able to sell their cotton on Fairtrade terms will help build farmers’ resilience and mean better prices plus a bit extra to invest in community projects,” Anna Barker, head of responsible business at the Fairtrade Foundation.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RR)

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