The principles of agroforestry are guiding a Brazilian startup’s creation of sustainable fabrics. FarFarm uses a system that involves deliberate planting of multiple species of trees and other plants. According to a Sportstextiles.com article, this type of agroforestry encourages the sharing of resources among compatible species. The benefits include lower consumption of water, increased carbon sequestration and soil fertility, and greater biodiversity.
The company has planted cotton, jute and plants used for natural dyes, as well as oranges and bananas, on three pilot farms in Brazil. The land the farms are built on belongs to the local community; FarFarm provides the investment capital to get a farm running, and then splits the generated revenue with the farmers. The company uses the fibers grown on the farms to create fabrics; the farmers use the fruit and wood for sustenance and as cash crops.
FarFarm’s aim is to become a manufacturer and seller of sustainable fabrics made from these regenerative fibers. The company is working with a number of manufacturers that are testing small batches of fabrics. The company sees the initial target market as the fashion sector and secondarily, home textiles.