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Native Cotton | Bergman Rivera

We are working with Bergman Rivera on a special collection made of a blend of wild native Peruvian and un-dyed Pima cotton. Bergman Rivera started the Wild Cotton project in 1994 in collaboration with the Government of Peru.  

According to Bergman Rivera this was to promote alternative crops to replace coca leaf plantations in the rainforest. These native strains require far less irrigation and soil maintenance and can be rotated with lucrative crops like Organic Sacha Inchi and Organic Cacao, which helps increase the income for these family run farms. 

They designated these indigenous seeds as a key component of local heritage and since has been on a mission to preserve and promote the grown of wild cotton across Peru with help from Bergman Rivera.

Native Cotton, a plant that is over a 1000 years old, almost went extinct due to the demand for traditional white cottons and because of a ban against growing it. Wild Cotton was thought to have carried different insects and pests that would damage commercial white cotton crops most likely because of lack of knowledge and extensive lobbying from the conventional cotton farms and suppliers. Now that the stigma is lost the program has rejuvenated Wild Cotton growth and has consistently increased the production yields year after year. 

Native Peruvian cotton is special because of its enzymatic capacity that causes it to grow in a variety of different colors, such as white, cream, brown, green, yellow and beige. The colour of the native cotton is influenced by genetic or climate factors. 

These natural colours are what makes native cotton so unique. Dying and processing textiles makes up 20% of global water pollution. By creating clothing from these naturally coloured fibres, we are choosing one of the best options for our Earth. 

We have spent over a year working on this collection. Since Ana + Zac launched in 2019, we have been striving to find new ways to create clothing more sustainably. This collection encompasses the ethos of our brand. Natural, wild, un-dyed and 100% compostable. 

All photos by Lakyn Leudy

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