M.J. Bale flagship stores now stock men’s chinos exclusively made from cotton grown by Australian farmers.
The McQueen chinos of the Australian-owned ‘gentleman’s clothier’ have been carefully created using Australian cotton grown in north-west New South Wales and southern Queensland, traced back to these areas through the industry’s system that can track bales from the farm to the spinning mill.
Sixth-generation farmer Andrew Watson from Boggabri, New South Wales, is one of the suppliers of cotton to M.J. Bale’s new range.
Andrew says his property ‘Kilmarnock’ combines traditional farming with progressive environmental practices based on the industry’s myBMP (Best Management Practices) program.
“By using a combination of research, technology and the farm’s natural ecosystem, we are able to produce some of the best quality fibre in the world,” Andrew says.
“We have only used insecticides once in the past 12 years and that’s something we’re really proud of. It’s not easy, there is all sorts of pressure to manage the limited resources we have, including drought and financials, but I think we’ve achieved a good balance,” Andrew says.
“Our big focus the last few years has been planting tree lines between the river and the cotton crops to create a natural eco-corridor. We are now seeing so many bats, birds and ladybeetles, the populations are growing year-by-year!” Andrew says.
M.J. Bale Founder and CEO, Matt Jensen met with Andrew at his property in north-west New South Wales.
“We pride ourselves on tailoring expertise with natural fibres, like Australian cotton and merino wool,” Matt says.
“Andrew and his family are committed to the sustainable use of water and other resources, and they are incredibly passionate about the environment and natural eco-systems on their property,” Matt says.
Cotton Australia Supply Chain Consultant Brooke Summers says the cotton industry is committed to partnerships with iconic brands and retailers to include Australian cotton in their product mix and marketing efforts.
“Brands are increasingly concerned about sourcing raw materials grown with the highest environmental and social standards, and many are including Australian cotton in sustainable sourcing strategies,” Brooke says.
“The partnership with M.J. Bale sends a really positive message to Andrew and all our farmers that the product they’ve worked so hard to grow is in high demand, especially at a time when they’re doing it really tough in the drought,” Brooke says.
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