• UNIQLO and Supima® Cotton

UNIQLO and Supima® Cotton

Family farmed and sustainably harvested.
For over a century Supima® cotton has been farmed throughout the West and Southwest of the United States. In most cases, the growers are family farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. We visited some of the farms who are harvesting Supima® cotton that will eventually be made into essential UNIQLO products and talked to the farmers about the recent harvest.

Jacob Cauzza (Jake for short) of Cauzza Growers in Buttonwillow, California is a fourth generation farmer. We spoke with him about his family's legacy of farming. According to Jake, his great grandfather, who is originally from Lucca, Italy, emigrated from Switzerland and settled in Buttonwillow in the 1920s and started the family farm in the 1930s. Jake's great grandfather slept under a tree while constructing a small house that still stands there today.

"Over the years we have made it a priority to keep the house in the best condition possible because it has such a symbolic meaning to the family," says Jake.

Jake grew up on the farm and started working summers since he was 13 years old and had lived on the farm until he was 18 when he left for college. Carrying on the legacy of farming that his great grandfather started is something that he does not take for granted even after knowing firsthand that the work is tough. He says that without passion for the ground and the fruit of your labor it is not an easy way to make a living.

"I take great pride farming the same ground that my great grandfather farmed nearly 90 years ago and that is the legacy that I want to carry on," added Jake.

Supima® cotton is farmed using state-of-the-art technology and processes. From GPS navigation used on tractors to plant and harvest the cotton, to satellite technology and soil monitors, Supima® farmers ensure they are growing the best quality cotton in the world with as little impact on the environment as possible. According to Jake, farmers in California take sustainability very seriously.

"We use GPS navigation on our equipment to ensure minimum tillage, we use satellite and soil monitors to ensure no water is wasted and we are irrigating at the correct times, and we have PCA certified company's check all crops to ensure the health of the crop. Everything we put in the ground is documented and must be up to state standards," says Jake.

A fun fact about the farm is that they are one of the original families to start the Farmers Co-op Gin, a collection of 30-40 family farms, a lot of whom are 3rd and 4th generation farmers. Farmers Co-op Gin was founded in 1937 and is the largest roller gin stand in the country. According to Jake, Adrianne, their gin manager, is the only woman gin manager in the Far West and she is an incredible asset to the farms.

"The Buttonwillow community has a rich history and I am sure [there are ] more stories like my great grandfather's," added Jake.

What is Supima® cotton?

Supima® cotton is a superior type of cotton grown in the USA. It represents less than 1% of cotton grown in the world. What makes Supima unique to other cottons is the extra-long staple fiber that gives the cotton its premium properties: Strength, Softness and Color retention.