Cotton with a conscienceMay 2020
It's soft. It's lightweight. It's breathable. There are so many reasons why cotton has become such a staple of spring and summer wardrobes, and the fibre we use in our cotton jersey garments is extra special. Produced ethically and sustainably in Naoussa, Greece, it’s known as Supreme Green Cotton® – but we call it White Gold.
Working with responsible suppliers
For some fashion brands and suppliers, it's hard to trace exactly where their cotton comes from, and even harder to know whether it's been produced ethically.
Not at David Nieper. We’ve always been selective about the people we work with, but we know that it’s important to you – and to our planet – that we do as much as possible to make sure our work is environmentally and socially conscious. That's why we're doing everything we can to reduce the impact of our industry and partner with the most ethical, quality-driven suppliers we can find – starting with that must-have summer fabric, pure cotton jersey.
Where our cotton comes from
We don't use just any cotton in our factories. You'll know by now that we believe in preserving and growing the fashion industry, and our pure cotton jersey garments are crafted using quality yarns sourced from Naoussa, Greece.
Textiles are woven into the tapestry of Naoussa's rich industrial heritage; in the 20th century, almost half the population was employed in textile factories owned by the Lanaras family. The family was a huge part of the city, even building local amenities like schools and hospitals and giving their names to many of the winding streets.
Now, Naoussa has been home to the family-owned Varvaressos spinning mills since 1908, along with their cotton supplier: the Supreme Green Cotton project.
How our cotton is grown
The Supreme Green Cotton project works with farmers across rural Greece to source ethical, sustainably farmed cotton, often grown alongside wheat, corn, legumes, and grapes.
Gintzidis Stavros, for example, farms almost 30 acres of cotton for the project in the small village of Glafki, nestled in the foothills of Mount Olympus. After 6 months spent nurturing his seedlings into plants, Gintzidis harvests the cotton and takes it to the ginning mill, where the fibres are separated from the seeds, stems, leaves and other residue.
Next, they're cleaned and packed into bales, then taken just a few kilometres over to the spinners in Varvaressos. Here, it’s spun into glorious quality, sustainable Greek yarn – our White Gold – before being sent to Austria to be knitted into cotton jersey fabric. Finally, it arrives at David Nieper, ready to become something special.
What makes our cotton special?
The Supreme Green Cotton project ensures farmers like Gintzidis are paid fairly, work safely, and are protected by human rights legislation, while guaranteeing ethical, sustainable cotton farmed using environmentally responsible practices.
It’s grown from GMO-free cotton seeds, and our farmers work in a way that respects the environment and supports natural biodiversity, using biological methods over chemicals wherever they can. They even use a special irrigation system to lessen their water consumption.
So, our cotton isn’t just good for the environment. It’s brilliant for rural economies and communities, and provides much-needed jobs in Naoussa – an area that has suffered starkly from unemployment since the Lanaras heydey.
That means you can wear every cooling cotton shirt and elegant nightie in absolute confidence, knowing it's been crafted with care not just by us, but from the moment that seed met soil. Because from field to fabric, we know exactly where our cotton comes from. And now, so do you.