Meet SATVA: The WOC owned athleisure wear brand working directly with Indian farmers to promote non-GMO seeds, cotton farmer livelihood, and sponsoring the education of young girls where their organic cotton is cultivated.
National yields of cotton have largely stagnated as use of pesticide sprays has increased over the last decade. Reimagining the fashion industry’s relationship with cotton became the core pillar of SATVA, an athleisure wear brand working directly with Indian farmers to promote non-GMO seeds, cotton farmer livelihood, and sponsoring the education of young girls where their organic cotton is cultivated.
After working in New York City designer fashion houses for more than a decade, SATVA founder Puja Barar felt something was missing in the fashion industry. Raised in India, she was well aware of the challenges of the textile industry: heavy use of toxic chemicals, poor treatment of labor, and negative environmental impact. In 2009, she began SATVA, a woman owned, mission-driven athleisure wear brand is primarily made from GOTS certified non-GMO organic cotton.
Organic clothing features the absence of pesticides and fertilizers as compared to conventional methods of cultivation, thus encouraging the development of self-sustaining ecosystems. SATVA’s organic ideology also includes a blanket ban on all forms of chemicals, including bleaches, toxic waxes, sulfur and heavy metals. Instead, natural, non-toxic dyes are used to ensure that every purchase you make from SATVA is gentle on the skin.
SATVA built a supply chain, working with organic cotton farmers in India, focusing on certification for its organic clothes. To do so, they settled on the GOTS certification, or Global Organic Textile Standard, which had an increasing audience. Working directly with farmers, they eliminated any middlemen, paying the farmers for their crop instead. Their partner farmers use non-GMO seeds, practice all-natural growing methods, and earn up to 40 percent more revenue than conventional Indian cotton farmers. Given India’s history with GMO cotton, and stories of cotton farmers being buried in debt from having to buy new seeds each season, this was an important step for SATVA to ensure that the farmers were fairly paid. In addition, we work with factories that pay living wages to their workers, and are certified with GOTS.
The business model is not limited to working directly with organic farmers. As a woman growing up in India, Barar recognized the challenges for the girl child. As a result, SATVA has set up a scholarship program for young girls wishing to continue their education in the organic farming communities where they work.