FAIRTRADE goods made from cotton will be available in the UK for the first time.
The newly certified Fairtrade cotton, which comes from small farmers in India and Peru, Mali and Senegal, will allow for the production of a clothing-line among other products placing Fairtrade into a new market.
Laljibhai Narranbhai, a farmer from Agrocel Pure & Fair Cotton Growers' Association in India, said: "I will finally be able to support my family thanks to the Fairtrade price we will get for our cotton.
"I have two sons and one daughter and for the first time I can think about sending my children to school without having to take out a loan. I did not go to school myself, but I want my children to get a good education and this will now happen because my income will increase through Fairtrade."
The Fairtrade Foundation said there is urgent need for this initative because of the low world cotton prices depressed in part by US and EU subsidies.
"For too long cotton farmers have been invisible at the end of long supply chains and at the sharp end of injustice in international trade, and that has to change," said Harriet Lamb, Director of the Fairtrade Foundation.
"We are setting a whole new pattern for international trade – one that puts cotton farmers first not last. We are determined that this will become the trend in the cotton industry and will continue to work towards meeting the needs of cotton farmers."
Cotton products carrying the Fairtrade Mark will shortly be available from ten companies who trade via a range of independent shops, websites and catalogues. Items with the Mark include women's and men's T-shirts, shirts, trousers, dresses, children's and babywear, underwear and cotton wool.