RESET : The first zero-budget, vertically integrated regenerative cotton farming project in the world | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation

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RESET : The first zero-budget, vertically integrated regenerative cotton farming project in the world

RESET stands for "Regenerate the Environment, Society, and Economy through Textiles". It is a non-profit organisation working towards the upliftment of small and marginal farming communities, tribals and women in India. It has transformed the unsustainable cotton farming practices into a holistic regenerative textile ecosystem which values natural resources, empower lives, and unite people. They are currently working with tribal farmers in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh with emphasis on women farmers. 550 farmer families in 46 villages have benefitted from this project.

The entire RESET ecosystem with farmers, ginner, spinner, knitter, dyer and garment workers, all located in India, is involved in the production of sustainable T-shirts where no toxic material is used at any stage starting from the selection of the cotton seed to the sewing of the label.


Cotton farming occupies 6% of land in India but consumes over 50% of the country’s pesticides. Conventional cotton farming relies on disproportionate amounts of toxic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.

More than 30% total annual GHG emissions come from agriculture. 8,663 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of conventional seed cotton and 20,217 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg conventional lint cotton so farms are often irrigated rather than rain-fed. Approximately 94% of Indian cotton is grown using genetically modified seeds (GMOs).

Over 300,000 of debt-ridden Indian cotton farmers committed suicide in a decade. Small farmers, especially tribal women cotton growers need attention as they are capital poor and chronically exploited by middlemen, pesticide dealers, and trade forces. These farmers are subjected to market and crop vulnerabilities while required to make high investments with high market risk.


RESET farmers cultivate cotton by using the principles of agroecology. Salient features of RESET farms are:

No GMOs (BT cotton)

No toxic agrochemicals like pesticides, weedicides and synthetic fertilizers

Intercropping with pulses

Border plants to manage pests

Low tillage

Cow based soil nutrient management: bio-manures

Locally available natural inputs and plant concoctions to control insect pests and diseases.

Regenerative organic cotton farming practices of RESET builds soil health and organic matter to support healthy plant growth. It mitigates carbon emissions and stores atmospheric carbon in the soil and eliminates the use of chemical inputs and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). It increases biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, increases water percolation, retention and reduce runoff and soil erosion.


In 5 years, RESET has converted 62,500 acres of cotton from degenerative to regenerative production systems eliminating all GMOs. Their farming practices have increased water retention capacity by 20-30% and farm biodiversity by 100%. They have also effectively removed 337,500 kgs of toxic pesticides. The income of 15,000 farmers has also doubled in 5 years. With an emphasis on female farmers, RESET farmers enjoy lower costs, greater yields and higher profits

Additional information

As many as 30,000 T-shirts made with the cotton in the garment factories based at Tirupur and Coimbatore were used by the 8,000 participants in one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals organised by Tomorrowland in Belgium in 2019. RESET partnered with Urban Fibres, Belgium, to make this a reality.

The cotton was raised in 26 villages under Pachipenta, Kurupam and Gummalakshmipuram in Vizianagaram district and Bhamini of Srikakulam district by the tribals, reported The Hindu. In all, 18 tonnes of cotton was collected from the 230 farmers by cultivating it in 250 acres.

Farmer collective

RESET farmers have been federated and conducting collective farming and processing (ginning) under Aadya Farmers Producer Company (Aadya FPC). YasasreeViroha Impex Pvt Ltd, the marketing arm of Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development, conducts further processing and trading.



ICS holder: Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development

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