The Kutch region located in the west of India is a seasonal island edged by the Gulf of Kutch and the Great and Little Ranns (salt flats). The salt in the soil makes this low-lying region almost completely barren. The villages that dot across Kutch’s arid landscape like the Abdasa taluka are home to some of the most resilient people in the world. After the earthquake of 2001 that destroyed several communities, the residents of this region came together to rebuild their lives, converting their resources into products for daily living. Wagad cotton is one such resource.
This old world organic and water-efficient indigenous strain had lost its significance to the modern softer foreign strains of long-staple Bt-cotton that were introduced in the 70s. Although deemed new, the long-staple varieties were not organic or water efficient requiring large amounts of pesticides and continuous irrigation. These strains also broke down local value-chains by requiring industrial machinery and mills for processing as opposed to the handloom systems that empowered entire local communities.
In order to revive the soil and the community multiple local organizations came together to get Wagad cotton certified organic.This certification helped it get a renewed attention and the strain was re-introduced to the industry as the newly branded Kala Cotton. Slowly but steadily local organizations have come together with the village communities to rebuild the ties that were lost between organic farmers, ginners, spinners, natural dyers, and the weavers to once again create long-lasting value for the land and its people.
Up to 100% profit from the items below donated to community-powered funds and relief initiatives in Kutch, where the materials are from, and to Delhi NCR where these products are made.