There are so many parts to the whole Cotton Value Chain, namely, Cotton farming, Spinning (conversion of cotton to yarn), Weaving (yarn becomes a beautiful fabric) and Dyeing (The art of applying colour to the yarn or fabric). These 4 main steps are the major steps in the cotton value chain and the way these are accomplished actually determine the value of the output.
All of these can be done in different ways. The cotton seed could be American (Gossypium Hirsutum) or Traditional Indian / Desi cotton (Gossypium Arboreum or Herbaceum) and could be organic or chemically grown or GM (genetically Modified BT Cotton).
Spinning could be derived from Desi or Amber or Solar Charkha. Desi charkha is where the input is lint and the output is yarn. Amber Charkha is where the input is slivers (which is machine made) and output is yarn. Solar Charkha where the spindles are not hand driven but solar driven (aided by a motor).
The conversion of lint to yarn is achieved in such diverse ways! (That is why you see a star above the word ‘hand spinning’ in the Ethos Quadrant.) Or with scant regard for the environment, the yarn could be spun in giant automated spinning mills.
Dyeing could be enabled from natural colours (derived from plant materials without synthetics/chemicals including the mordants) or with the aid of chemical dyes.
Weaving could either be done by hand on Hand looms or in power looms.
To easily determine the ethos and value of each product/item in the IHMC website, you can use the “Ethos Quadrant”. The Customer can understand the steps in the cotton value chain of each product, in this very unique and user friendly depiction, portrayed as a four petal flower each petal depicting Cotton Production, Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing.
If your fabric is made from a 4/4 score on the Ethos Quadrant, then you can pride yourself that it has the lowest carbon footprint. However, low footprint mostly comes at a tradeoff in cost. So ,we urge you to do your due diligence with all our vendors (using the Ethos Quadrant) and choose the fabric that achieves the best balance between your wallet and values.