Cotonea endeavours to provide benefits, to not do any harm and to improve people’s lives.
These basic needs are limited. Old mindsets must be overcome, the mindsets which have plunged our society into problems. For Cotonea, qualitative growth which gives more use with less consumption, takes centre stage. Because companies should generate benefits, improve the lives of all and do no harm. Hereby we never lose sight of mankind’s desire for a life in balance with ourselves and our environment, our need for physical and psychological integrity, for aesthetic and beauty, our zest for life and our optimism. For us, every person - no matter where he or she lives - has the right to fulfilment of these basic needs.
It is also part of mankind’s fundamental needs to be noticed and recognised. We give the people who work with and for us the freedom for independent and entrepreneurial action. The tasks should be in line with their wishes and skills, as far as is possible. For this we give them as much of our support as is possible to develop their professional and personal potential. We have regular contact to the local people - in the organic cotton projects and our weaving mill and sewing workshop in the Czech Republic. This contact is enormously important for all persons involved. Wishes, successes and problems are heard, the future development is planned, and the prices are negotiated. This contact is the basis for our transparency, which we guarantee across the entire supply chain.
At the same time we are dealing with the question of how economic activity must develop so that a balance of give-and-take is restored to the world: what does a world without quantitative growth look like? How should we define quality? How is it possible to set an appropriate price for the use (mostly resulting in pollution) of social commodities such as water and air, without creating a competitive disadvantage for the company in comparison to producers in countries who do not assign a price on this use? How must we define profits and prosperity in the future? How can we create this change together?
It is our theory that the current period of non-sustainable economic activity is coming to an end and must come to an end because the natural resources of Earth will be depleted - not immediately, but in the more or less foreseeable future. We do not know exactly when this will be. But it would be wise to prevent a total collapse. Corresponding ideas and future scenarios have existed for a long time. But will mankind change their behaviour by pure reason, “just” because a development can occur, a development that they don’t really know much about and that demands a fundamental change in behaviour? Especially if it will happen in the possibly distant future?
We hope this will be the case and put our hopes into the power of ideas and creative minds, for whom at some point the time to act will come, so that we can all live in prosperity. Our society must redefine prosperity. We don’t see prosperity as an abundance of material wealth, but as material security and the satisfaction of human needs, a life worth living in an intact environment, which is characterised by respect, equality, freedom, security, responsibility, political stability and peace.
Elmer & Zweifel: manufacturers of the organic brand Cotonea with more than 160 years’ expertise in cotton.Find out more
Cotonea has been producing its own energy using hydropower since 1855 and its own solar energy since 2002.Find out more