Photo credit: ©The Egyptian Biodynamic Association
Sustainable textile manufacturer, Ventile, has announced its joint venture with an organic and regenerative farming association in Egypt, The Egyptian Biodynamic Association [EBDA], to support Egyptian farmers in applying biodynamic cotton farming methods.
The partnership between Zurich-based Ventile and The Egyptian Biodynamic Association has been announced amid growing interest in sustainable agricultural systems and the production of high-quality, ethical, and regenerative-grown organic cotton for textile production.
The Egyptian Biodynamic Association was founded in 1994 and has currently 2,380 farming members around Egypt. The main activities of the EBDA are to support conventional farmers as they convert to organic and biodynamic regenerative farming methods, and through the maintenance of sustainable agriculture which provide a positive impact on the environment. Ventile’s ongoing support will enable the association to assist more cotton farmers to convert their land into a self-sustaining farm using regenerative principles.
The venture marks a milestone moment for the textile company, which is due to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year . Of the announcement, Ventile Brand Director, Daniel Odermatt, said, “From day one, our goals for Ventile have centered around our dedication to sustainability and the journey we are on as a company to do what we can to protect the environment. To have an opportunity to collaborate with an association such as the EBDA and to work directly with the source of cotton production is a vital step forward to achieving our goal of creating a traceable and transparent supply chain for Ventile.
“To be on this journey and to see first-hand the changes which are being implemented to farms and farming communities is invaluable and we’re very much looking forward to seeing how our partnership develops with the association over the coming months. We hope to see other companies follow our lead and join our venture with The Egyptian Biodynamic Association to further drive biodynamic cotton farming for textile production.”
Cotton sourced from biodynamic farming is grown without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and harmful, toxic inputs such as artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. The sustainable method of farming helps to combat climate change, saves water, and contributes to a healthier life for farmers and their communities, end consumers, and livestock.
Justus Harm, Co-Executive Director of The Egyptian Biodynamic Association, commented, “I am truly thankful and very excited to engage in the new cooperation with Ventile. This enables us as a local farmer association to invest in capacity building of regenerative agriculture for cotton production and improve the livelihoods and well-being of many more farmers and their communities in Egypt.
“When farmers are supported with the resources needed to transition to more sustainable and regenerative practices, we ensure that our planet’s finite resources will be used responsibly and that farmers will be able to grow and harvest high-quality cotton for generations to come.”
In 2021, Ventile announced its move to a PFC-free company in response to the growing demand for sustainable practices in the textile trade. The Ventile range consists of fabrics that offer increased sustainable credentials such as recycled cotton, organic cotton, and a choice of blended fabrics such as hemp, lyocell, and linen. Ventile fabric is designed to be waterproof, water-repellent, windproof, and breathable.
Developed in England in 1943, Ventile was originally designed to save the lives of pilots flying over the Atlantic in Wartime England. In the cockpit, Ventile proved cool and comfortable, whilst, in the water, the fabric proved warm and impenetrable – extending survival times tenfold. Ventile suits are still worn by pilots of various air forces. Ventile® fabric has looked out from the Summit of Everest, Annapura, and just about every other major peak in the world and has been used for years by adventurers alike. Most famously, Sir Ranulph Fiennes crossed the Antarctic clothed in Ventile®.
About the Egyptian Biodynamic Association:
The Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994, promoting the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture in Egypt. Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that seeks to regenerate ecosystems and create a self-sustaining and resilient, balanced farm system by working nature inclusive and cycles of the environment.
The EBDA provides training, education, and support for farmers, and other practitioners interested in biodynamic agriculture. EBDA also conducts research and experimentation to further develop and refine biodynamic and regenerative techniques for local conditions in Egypt. Since 2019 EBDA has successfully developed and launched a new holistic standard, including a carbon credit scheme that provides an additional income for regenerative farmers.
EBDA aims to create a more resilient and sustainable food and textile system in Egypt and contributes to the global movement towards more ecologically responsible agriculture. http://ebda.earth/