A group of 11 companies currently selling cotton products in a variety of industries, including apparel, housewares, agriculture and personal care, have come together to form C4, the California Cotton & Climate Coalition.

Led by Fibershed, White Buffalo Land Trust, Torus and Materevolve Consulting, C4 is based on a pre-competitive form of collaboration and aims to create a structure for investment in regionally grown Climate Beneficial Cotton.

The coalition will work specifically in the unique California bioregion, where it is estimated that the soil has lost critical amounts of carbon from its original, natural storage. This loss is significantly driving the imbalance of the carbon cycle and directly contributing to climate chaos.

Through the coalition, founding brands Coyuchi, Mate The Label, Outerknown, Reformation, and Trace have joined together to source cotton directly from farmers who have converted to climate-friendly practices. This cotton will be used to develop products that will be released over the next year, the purchase of which will directly support the livelihoods of the farmers who grew it.

These practices are meant to provide the opportunity to sequester measurable and additional amounts of atmospheric carbon in the pedosphere, the soil carbon pool. 

The research and findings from this project aim to create a roadmap for the additional 187,000 acres currently growing cotton in California.

Mate The Label
Photo: Mate The Label
Mate The Label
"Reversing the supply chain, also known as 'farm forward,' is an important step we need to take in upgrading agriculture as the foundation of our textile system. We have done much in our recent history to devalue important aspects of our ecosystem for the purpose of accumulating monetary capital. It's time to recapitalize and recarbonize our soils, place the value we need on a balanced carbon cycle, and honor all the human relationships that make up our textile culture,” commented Rebecca Burgess, weaver and natural dyer who almost a decade ago developed a project focused on wearing clothing made from fiber grown, woven, and sewn within her bioregion of North Central California. Burgess is an activist involved with Fibershed, a non-profit organization that develops regional fiber systems that build ecosystem and community health involved in C4.

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