Betting on the farm
Posted on October 24 2021
We're tripling the size of our organic cotton farm!
During Fair Indigo's evolution, we've adapted up, down, and sideways to changing situations in the sustainable apparel world. But one thing that's emerged as a constant is our primary ingredient: organic Peruvian Pima cotton. As we've touted, it's simply the best cotton on earth with which to make clothing - the best 0.005%. Our customers clearly agree as we've never had such a loyal following or growth in demand for any product we've offered.
Prior to the pandemic, we were fortunate to get about 80% of our organic Pima cotton from our two family farms in Pisco and Chiclayo, Peru (pictured above and below). The other 20% we bought on the open market where there's long been a modest but steady supply.
But recently that supplemental 20% has become virtually non-existent. Let's just say, "ouch!" Pima cotton is much more labor intensive than non-Pima cotton because it must be harvested by hand. The COVID-related labor shortage and a shortage of non-Pima cotton worldwide has incentivized many farmers to move into non-Pima cotton. It grows faster and can be more easily harvested using machines.
We could import the cotton from elsewhere, but the price is currently off the charts - about 3 times what it had been prior to the surge in demand in 2021.
That's the bad news. It's hampering our ability to have a robust and well stocked collection of organic Pima cotton clothing right now and unfortunately in the near-term future. Double ouch.
So where's the lemonade? There's always lemonade in these blog posts right?
Well, we've got a recipe, but it's a slow brew. A quality craft brew to be sure, but slow. Our farm's manager, Javier Jr, recently acquired more land adjacent to the farm in Pisco that will expand our capacity from 25 to 75 acres. In fact, they just got done planting their first batch of cotton last week! Thanks guys! It'll be harvested around May of 2022 and be used to make clothing you'll see in 2023. [Read: From seed to shirt - 16 months].
Until then, there's no way to sugarcoat the shortage of our primary ingredient. We'll be introducing some new products/materials next year, but are committed to getting back on track with our "bread and butter" line.
It's why we're focusing our offering right now on our most timeless and successful designs that we know are great Forever in Fashion pieces appropriate every year. The best cotton in the world assures your clothes will last for many years to come too!
We thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support as we plant the seeds to a more bountiful harvest next year and beyond.
Co-Founder & President