No Nasties, a fashion brand in India founded since 2011, is actively targeting a severe problem that is farmer suicides, by creating a market for organic cotton. When the cotton farmers’ crisis erupted in India, Apurva Kothari, co-founder of No Nasties, started looking at potential business opportunities to help these farmers. For the next 16 months from 2010, Apurva continued to research on the availability of organic cotton. He found that it was mostly export-oriented, lack of availability to the consumers but mainly due to a lack of demand from consumers.
Due to this, thousands of farmers and their families in the “cotton belt” which is now infamously known as the “suicide belt” in India have been taking their own life after being overwhelmed by the burden of debt. This problem has been on the rise since 1990s due to increasing costs and low yield of chemicals that often lead to genetically modified cotton farming, farmers have to take high interest loans, which many are unable to pay back.
The No Nasties’ business model is simple: they work with art designers and send the designs to a manufacturing unit in Kolkata, which is partially owned by a farmers’ association. Apurva believes that organic farming is the best way to lower costs of farmers and allow them to continue farming without having to turn to loans. The main goal is to get farmers to switch back to organic farming by creating a market for organic cotton and they are doing this by offering stylish organic t-shirts that people would buy, which would empower these farmers.
No Nasties believes in 100% fairness and transparency and has made their supply-chain public on their website. No Nasties as a brand and their products proudly display how their t-shirts differ from the rest - from using a community of independent designers to using a courier service called Mirakle Couriers that is run by the deaf to deliver the t-shirts. If you are keen to learn more about this brand, check out their website - http://www.nonasties.in