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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR and Gossypium announce new partnership

An exciting new partnership is announced today between IAR and an organic cotton company that is renowned for its high ethical and environmental standards.

Both IAR and Gossypium Organic and Fairtrade Cotton are based in East Sussex and work extensively in India. IAR rescues and rehabilitates dancing bears off the streets, while Gossypium uses cotton from small Indian and organic farms to produce its range of clothing for the UK market.

Based in Lewes, Gossypium sells its products throughout the UK by mail order and website trade. In an effort to raise funds for the charity and promote the clothing line, its latest product catalogue is being sent out to IAR supporters and the charity will receive 15% of profits from any products they purchase.

Carrie Colliss, IAR Development Director, says: "We're delighted to have the support of such an ethically and environmentally sound company that has such strong links with India."

International Animal Rescue works with Indian charity Wildlife SOS to end the practice of ’dancing’ bears which has been illegal in India since 1972. IAR also supports a rehabilitation scheme to retrain the bears’ handlers and find them new employment so that they can provide for their families and improve their standard of living.

Carrie Colliss continues: "Our aim is to stamp out the dancing bear practice for good and provide a solution that benefits both the bears and the people who currently depend on them for their livelihood. I was very attracted by the idea of partnering with Gossypium because it cares about the producer of its goods as well as the consumer, and also about the natural environment in which the cotton is grown and manufactured."

Gossypium takes its name from the botanical name for cotton plant and this is where its clothing starts. In a unique joint venture which links Gossypium directly to the small scale cotton farms of India, all Gossypium clothing has been made with cotton grown to organic and fair-trade standards. Cotton plants grow for eight months of the year on the garden-sized farms, interspersed with other crops such as lentils. Birds circle overhead to catch the pests as the farmers don’t use pesticides and as a result their soil and quality of life have both improved dramatically and they are paid 8% over the market price.

Gossypium’s partner Agrocel is now reaching thousands of small-scale farmers around India and every purchase of Gossypium clothing makes a direct and positive footprint on rural life. The company will also be producing a T-shirt especially for International Animal Rescue to promote its campaign to free the dancing bears.