Organic silk production by Waschbär & OTEX in China – supported by DEG

Since 2016, we have been working on a silk production project on various organic farms in Yilong, in the north-east of China. Clothing brand Waschbär and yarn manufacturer OTEX source their goods from this region. We got involved in the project with the aim of improving soil fertility.

After a site visit and feasibility analysis, it became clear to the project partners and to us that silk production would be a good way to reduce emissions in their own supply chain. As a result, we successfully launched a public-private partnership project in collaboration with the development bank DEG. Soil & More Impacts assumed responsibility for its coordination. The DEG project ran between 2017 and ends in 2021. Soil & More has been supporting Otex on site since 2016 continuously until at least 2024.

Mulberry trees with intercrops
Increase local and international confidence in the production and quality of Chinese organic silk.

Aims of the project

By using model farms, the aim is to demonstrate and raise awareness of sustainable yet profitable production practices. In doing so, Waschbär, OTEX and DEG aim to build trust in Chinese organic goods – both locally and internationally.

The concurrent aim is to demonstrate that carbon sequestration can be improved through sustainable agriculture. Watch the video to see an update on the project so far.

Measures implemented as part of this project
  • Workshops and training sessions with around 250 farming families in six villages
  • Identification of local challenges and practices
  • Setting up model farms to demonstrate responsible practices
  • Joint compost production among the villagers
  • Train-the-trainer programmes
  • Purchase of materials and machinery
  • Local marketing of by-products as organic goods
  • Carbon sequestration through insetting measures such catch crop cultivation
Project successes
  • New income and marketing prospects for farmers
  • Organic products from Yilong are more credible due to transparency of production processes
  • Carbon sequestration measures confirmed by a KIWA audit
  • Chinese government sustainability goals supported.

More information

Waschbär: Organic silk project in China: With trees and compost for climate protection (German)

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