Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve – JP032
Wrangler Jeans has partnered with select farms in southern US states to practice sustainable agriculture in their production of a line of jeans and t-shirts. In doing this they’ve inverted the value-added model and added value back into the production. Listen in to this short overview.
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I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black?
Sustainability from the Seed to the Sleeve
Wrangler jeans has partnered with farmers in 6 southern states to grow jeans and t-shirts in a sustainable fashion. This is an extremely cool project where a big company is localizing production and manufacture to fulfill the three F’s of Farming. Food, Fiber and Fuel.
Using a covercrop mix, crop rotation, and conservation tillage they were not only able to grow the jeans and the t shirts but also improve the quality of the soil they grew the clothes in, as well as sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soil.
One interesting aspect of this is that these jeans are sold at a premium price of $99. It seems to be that certain customers can be accessed through marketing the value of this agricultural endeavor. The Senior Director of Sustainability for Wrangler and Lee Rowan Atwood said that now it is his job to figure out how to scale back these costs because “ it’s not a fair choice..someone should not be choosing between, can I afford this and I do want to support this type of activity/practice.”
As we think about what the small farmer can do to better their products, we still champion the value add as a way for the farmer to get their effort valued fairly. Wrangler did this in a weird inverse fashion by adding the value of the production back after the already added values of ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and sewing cotton into jeans.
The issue that Wrangler now faces — do we price at a premium, or have it available for everyone — is also felt by small farmers taking their sustainable produce to farmer’s markets.
I look forward to keeping both of us informed on how Rowan Atwood is able to do this. Once he makes that information available I’ll know, which means you’ll know and together we’ll be able to connect the dots and revert his inversion, realizing added value for our Siblings of the Soil.
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