041. Manufactured x Transformers Foundation: Cannon Michael on Growing Cotton in California

In this episode we talk to Cannon Michael, a California cotton grower. What is Extra Long Staple cotton (also known as Pima cotton)? What drives Cannon’s costs? How are these impacted by California’s regulatory environment? What drives the prices he’s able to get for his… [...]
20 Apr 2021
00:40:47
Manufactured
Manufactured
041. Manufactured x Transformers Foundation: Cannon Michael on Growing Cotton in California
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This is part one of our conversation with Cannon Michael, President and CEO of Bowles Farming Company. He’s also a founder and board member of Transformers Foundation. We were pretty excited to talk to Cannon – it’s the first time we’ve had the chance to have a cotton farmer on the show!

We start off this episode with the origins of Bowles Farming Company as well as what it does now. Bowles Farming company is located about two hours outside of San Francisco and has been in his family for 6 generations.

We then get into the details: for instance, what is Extra Long Staple cotton (also known as Pima cotton)? Why is it sold through merchants rather than on a commodities exchange? What, exactly, drives his costs? How does California’s regulatory environment impact his costs? What, exactly, drives the prices he’s able to get for his cotton? And why has he decided to do the ginning himself?

Want to dig deeper ?

Transformers Foundation is the unified voice representing the denim industry and its ideas for positive change. It was founded to provide a thus-far missing platform to the jeans and denim supply chain, and a central point of contact for consumers, brands, NGOs, and media who want to learn more about ethics and sustainable innovation in the industry.

For more on Transformers Foundation’s work visit the website and follow along on LinkedIn or Instagram.

To learn about different types of cotton, check out www.cottonworks.com.

To learn more about accreditation standards, check out http://cottonupguide.org/

Learn more about US cotton quality.

Check out Cotton Diaries, a global community of people passionate about cotton and committed to making cotton supply chains more sustainable.

Check out Crispin Argento’s piece on why cotton won’t ever be sustainable until farmers are paid more.

Check out Elizabeth Cline’s piece for Another Tomorrow: The Controversy Over Cotton.

Jessie Li

Photo provided by Bowles Farming

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