At its core, environmental responsibility is about taking care of the planet. But it’s no longer enough to just be carbon neutral; companies are expected to instead have a net-positive impact on the earth.
Chargeurs Luxury Materials is heeding this call with its NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture program, which prioritizes soil carbon sequestration, water use management, biodiversity and caring for animals and people. Since NATIVA’s launch, the fiber brand has centered on sustainability, but this regenerative agriculture initiative takes ecological action to the next level.
“Chargeurs understands how natural and renewable materials hold a key role in the journey towards a more sustainable future, and we’re committed to finding new ways to ensure sourcing not only doesn’t affect the planet, but improves it,” said Nicolas Sapelli, project lead for the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture program.
Many of Chargeurs’ farmers have long been leveraging regenerative agriculture practices, and the existing NATIVA™ Protocol established sustainable standards for wool production, including animal welfare, human rights, land management and environmental responsibility. Chargeurs works with producers—including mills, spinners, weavers and manufacturers—who are certified to uphold these principles. Building on the existing regenerative activities, this new program establishes these methods internationally while enhancing traceability and measurement of these actions.
“For years, our farmers and sourcing teams have looked into regenerative practices as a way to elevate the sustainability of our wool farming processes, and we believe the time to implement these globally is now,” Sapelli said.
Chargeurs is partnering with environmental sustainability consultancy Quantis for this initiative, leveraging the firm’s experience in apparel and textiles, and specifically wool. Quantis will identify and assess sources of carbon emissions from farming. Keeping the focus at the farm level, the project also aims to reduce water usage, enhance biodiversity and improve soil quality on farms.
The scientific data collected about farms will be integrated into NATIVA’s existing blockchain platform. At retail, shoppers can scan a QR code to discover their garment’s journey, enhancing product-level information sharing.
The technology has proven to be highly efficient in providing full transparency for textile products. It has provided both NATIVA™ and its partner brands the confidence that an authentic and compassionate supply chain is possible, and for brand and retail partners it can be traced and capitalized through compelling storytelling.
Chargeurs has been working with regenerative agriculture farmers in Australia and is beginning its regenerative agriculture program at its Merino wool farms in Uruguay. From there, it may expand the efforts worldwide.
Regenerative agriculture is a long game, since it may take years to fully reap the benefits, including healthier soil and improved grazing pastures. Better soil can also create improved job opportunities, meaning individuals can stay in rural communities rather than needing to relocate to a city. While it may be challenging at first to convince farms to adopt regenerative practices, Chargeurs believes that as more farmers see results, it will create a snowball effect that encourages a growing number to commit.
NATIVA’s move into regenerative agriculture helps brands achieve their own sustainability and responsible sourcing targets, and Chargeurs’ teams are working with brands and retailers to ensure that its solutions and supply chains match their needs. For example, NATIVA™ fits into Reformation’s commitment to low-impact materials.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with NATIVA™ to introduce a collection this fall,” said Carrie Freiman, director of sustainability at Reformation. The brand is launching styles that use both transitional regenerative and regenerative NATIVA™ wool.
Reformation is currently carbon neutral, and Freiman added that the partnership with NATIVA™ will help propel the company as it works to become climate positive by 2025. “With this commitment, we’re going further to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets and removing more emissions than we produce,” she said. “To accomplish this, we’re investing in solutions that have a net-positive impact, including insetting and sourcing regenerative fibers.
“The work that NATIVA™ is doing around regenerative agriculture and traceability is crucial in moving the industry forward,” she said.
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