The inspiration for Just Clean Cotton followed a visit by Joy Carey and John Drowley to South India where they met and got to know organic farmers Juli and Vivek Cariappa.
“We met Juli and Vivek for the first time at a farmers’ market in Mysore. They kindly invited us to visit them on their family-run organic farm. We were so inspired by what they had achieved there, we went back two years later and made a short film about them so others could know their story.”
Just Clean Cotton Ltd. was then set up to make Kracadawna Organic Farm products available in the UK.
“We aim to grow a successful and ethical business that helps to sustain the livelihoods of small-scale organic farming, weaving and tailoring families in South India.”
Now we’re opening our online store to make these lovely products available to everyone.
Joy Carey is probably best known as the author of “Who Feeds Bristol?” - a ground breaking piece of research into where a city gets its food from. For Joy, showing how growing organic cotton alongside other crops enables farmers to feed themselves and their communities better is a message who’s time has come.
John Drowley has been working in conflict transformation for over 20 years as a mediator, trainer and conflict coach. His determination to find ways of enabling people to resolve their differences through dialogue and collaboration underpins his approach to trade and doing business ethically and fairly.
At present, Just Clean Cotton sources its cotton clothing from Kracadawna Organic Farm, a small-scale family farm in the village of Halasur in Mysore District, Karnataka, South India.
Kracadawna has a strong philosophical foundation and is run as a family business by Juli and Vivek Cariappa and their sons, Kabir and Azad, all of them ‘farmers by choice’. Together, they grow organic cotton and more than 30 food crops on around 25 acres of land.
Juli and Vivek met as students in Delhi in the 1980s. Against the advice of friends and family they were determined to become organic farmers. Their vision was to demonstrate the viability of organic farming in rural india, and enable other families to farm in a sustainable way and be debt free.
Juli and Vivek have, with other farmers in the district, established a local association of organic family farms – the Organic Farmers’ Association in H.D.Kote, Karnataka. The local farmers, inspired and encouraged by the Cariappa’s achievements, are beginning to produce and co-market organic cotton, as well as strengthen their own food security and self-sufficiency.
The association has a micro-credit facility for its members and plans to raise funds from the farmers themselves to invest in shared storage and processing facilities. In June 2011, the association was involved in producing the Dharwad Declaration, which focused on ways to maintain diversity, increase availability and ensure the quality of non-GM cotton seed.
Read an interview with Vivek Cariappa in Down to Earth, an online science and technology magazine published in India.
See the trailer for the film we made about Organic farming in India: Organic is the only sensible way.