making babaà: cotton harvest

we love our local cotton so much and it was great to take part in its harvest last September 

Three weeks ago we drove down from Madrid to Andalucia to take part in the cotton harvest and learn more about our local cotton production. It was so beautiful to see. It makes it all so real to see our materials from the very beginning and learn about the whole process, it is fascinating. It is  a great local industry which needs to be protected and to which we are so committed. 

We choose our local cotton not just because of its amazing quality but also because it follows all the strong regulations from the EU that are good for the environment and for society. There are no plastic tunnels allowed for growing cotton and of course no child labour involved. Does this sound very obvious? Well, unfortunately it is not. We are happy to know where our cotton comes from and to know the cooperative factories and the people that work in them. For us it makes all the difference!

Cotton in Spain is harvested between September and October, when the plant is ready and just before the rainy season starts. Rain can ruin a whole harvest, it rots the plant and good quality white cotton turns black and cannot be used.

Harvesting is now done with machines that cut the plant and keep the cotton buds. The collected fibre is full of dry sticks and left overs form the whole plant. From the fields they bring it all to the cotton processing factory where they put the harvested plants in a machine that airs and dries them and enables them to get rid of  unwanted substances from the cotton. Once this is done the cotton goes into a different machine where they separate the seeds from the fibre. Then the fibre gets flattened and stored in bales and the seeds get stored ready to be planted for the following year’s crop. A little sample of each bale will go straight to the lab where it will be analysed for quality and specific characteristics in order to be sold to international cotton brokers.

 

 

I love the fact that no plastic is used in the whole process, not even for storage! Cotton bales are kept in big cotton muslin bags (you can see Matilda using one in one of the top pictures).

From our SS18 collection all of our cotton will be dyed in one of the most ecological factories in Europe! all dyes GOTS certified,  they save up to 60% in water and there is nothing discarded that contaminates our planet. More on this soon! 

We want to thank Juan, for encouraging us to visit and making it so easy, for being the nicest and explaining the whole process, Antonio, for showing us all the machinery, Macarena, for bringing us to the fields and Benito, for his knowledge at the laboratory. We love our cotton even more now and we hope you love it too! 

 

See all our cotton collection here