Switzerland’s Ventile Links With Egyptian Farmers in Sustainability Move

Published on April 11, 2023

Ventile, the Swiss-based manufacturer of high-performance textiles, has entered into a joint venture with cotton farmers in Egypt to help them apply biodynamic cultivation methods to their crops.

In partnership with the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA), Ventile will help its 2,380 members convert to organic and biodynamic regenerative farming methods that will have a positive impact on the environment. It will also help keep Egyptian cotton farmers competitive on the world market in an era when high quality, ethically farmed organic cotton is increasingly in demand for textile production.

The move aims to ensure the quality of life in farm communities around the country and is viewed as an investment in Egypt’s future, according to Justus Harm, co-executive director of EBDA. “When farmers are supported with the resources needed to transition to more sustainable and regenerative practices, we ensure that our planet’s finite resources will be used responsibly and that farmers will be able to grow and harvest high quality cotton for generations to come,” he said.

Zurich-based Ventile will celebrate its 80th anniversary this year. Long known globally as a manufacturer of high-performance fabrics, it moved to being PFC-free in late 2021 in response to growing demand for sustainable practices in the textile industry. It replaced the PFCs with a durable water repellent (DWR) without compromising the quality and performance of the fabric. Ventile’s was among the industry’s first renewably sourced water repellent treatments.

The brand’s waterproof cotton fabric was developed during World War II to help save the lives of Royal Air Force pilots who fell into the sea. It went into mass production in 1943 and was worn by RAF pilots around the world before it was eventually adopted by outdoorsmen and adventurers including Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

Sustainable cotton farming aims to combat climate change, save water and create a healthier life for farmers, end consumers and livestock. It is grown without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and toxic substances like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Spreading this approach is Ventile’s main goal, according to brand director Daniel Odermatt.

“To have an opportunity to collaborate with an association such as the EBDA and to work directly with the source of cotton production is a vital step forward to achieving our goal of creating a traceable and transparent supply chain for Ventile,” Odermatt said.

Source: Claire Wilson, Sourcing Journal