Supply Chain: From Organic Cotton to Organic Milk

When Scott Hahn, the co-founder of Rogan and Loomstate Jeans talks about the success of his business model, the phrase that he says over and over again is "managing the supply chain". The supply is of Organic cotton. The chain? Well, now that's an interesting story. Hahn was one of the presenters at last week's Verdopolis conference. They showed off their designs at the sustainable fabrics fashion show. And as much as I think their denims look great, my favorite bit is the fantastic "nature calls" label inside the fly But I write about food, so it's not my place to comment on fashion. Or is it?Apparently so. When you harvest cotton, you get two crops: cotton fiber and cottonseed. Oh no, not a little cottonseed. A mess of cottonseed. Actually, you get more cottonseed than fiber. Along with 100 pounds of fiber comes about 162 pounds of cottonseed. That's about the amount of cottonseed one cow eats per month.

Let's think for a moment about what's happening here: Organic cotton. Organic cottonseed. Organic milk. Nice.

I learned about the link from the Loomstate website. It's a mind-blowing step in the conversation about sustainability when a dairy farmer is making the case for organic cotton on the website of a company that make $180 jeans. But then again, a couple of years back, it was considered edgy for food writers to talk about farmers. We're getting there.

And now for our moment of Zen:
"It's a lot of seed. It's a lot of feed. Cows keep eating." —Justin Vyn, Organic Dairy Farmer.
::Loomstate [by Tamara Holt]