Union Back Fair Trade Organic Cotton
From the Fields to the Försterei
In the spring of 2022, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) launched the "From the Field to the Fan Shop" initiative; making sustainably produced fan articles together with the clothing company Brands Fashion.
By that time, 1. FC Union Berlin had already been working intensively on the processing of sustainably produced materials for their collections. Indeed, Union have been offering certified, sustainably produced fan articles since 2017. Now, more than 80 per cent of the textiles used in the Union-Zeughaus range are made of sustainably produced materials and bear the specially created DUFTE seal.
With the aim of promoting the sustainable production of fan articles and raising awareness for the environment, Union are one of now nine football clubs from the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga to support the BMZ initiative and are committed to the cultivation of organic cotton in India.
Next Saturday, a Union delegation (led by Gordon Knebel, head of merchandising and merchandise logistics at 1. FC Union Berlin) will travel to India together with representatives of the BMZ, Brands Fashion, the German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ) and the other participating football clubs with the aim of getting a first-hand impression of how the project is being implemented on the ground.
The agenda includes a visit to the small farmers cooperative and the cotton fields, as well as the factories for processing the raw materials. The aim of the trip is to get to know and exchange ideas and information with the small farmers on site.
The initiative "From the Field to the Fan Shop" also provides for sports activities for children and young people in the Indian growing regions. With the "Sport for Development" programme, sport is used specifically to improve the prospects of children and young people in the areas of education, job opportunities, health, gender equality and to promote peaceful coexistence.