Herders and breeders of sheep in the upper reaches of Himalayas with wool quality comparable with the best in the world classified as Merino wool were identified and aggregated into groups and a network built up for their audit conforming to the IFOAM standards of organic sheep farming led to the award of certification for Mojopanda Exim Pvt Ltd by Control Union of Nederlands as there were no existing standards for organic livestock in India. This has resulted in a collective livestock of 1,30,000 sheep and 250 herders / breeders with an output of 300 tons of certified organic wool of Indian origin.
Local processors of wool with spare capacity were identified in Himachal – Shikhar Wool Processor and Mahadev Woollen Mills and inputs were provided to enhance their processing capabilities as per international standards conforming to Global Organic Textile Standards and substantial investments made in improving their process cost and time with design and implementation of solar dryers and climate controlled warehousing.
Processed wool, certified under GOTS standard were then converted into products at Bikaner. These included wool felt bedding certified organic for children – a high value product in Europe and USA and the segregated / sorted wool was used to develop high fashion apparels, socks, footwear, active sportswear, blankets, quilts, floor furnishing and carpets, targeting the upper end premium market of Europe.
The company invested in innovating the use of soap nut in scouring wool and with the Wool Research Association in Mumbai developed an organic process for making wool or wool products moth-proof, which hitherto has been using very toxic chemicals to treat wool to make it mothproof.
To achieve this the company used the price mechanism to disrupt the existing wool market price in India, increasing the price from a mere Rs 30/Kg procurement price to Rs 90/Kg in the first year to incentivise the farmers for adhering to the best practices of organic farming.
The developed products were marketed in USA and Germany, successfully, for the past three years having overcome the initial barriers of export against competing countries like Australia and New Zealand and is enlarging the market reach to UK, China and Russia.
The company has plans to expand its cover of raw materials to J&K and Leh Ladakh in the coming few years and also innovate and develop products for insulation of medical supplies which are currently being met from environmentally negative products like Styrofoam. The company has also started a ‘sheep rearing / breeding farm’ to improve the quality of wool by rearing high quality ram from indigenous species with CSWRI to offer to the export market high quality wool apparel for fashion in 19 microns. For inventory management a digital process has been developed in-house using RFID tags and traceability throughout the supply chain.
Mandira Utsav is an initiative of the Company where the entire workforce is only women weaving carpets, the only unit in India with all women carpet weaving unit.
Wool Procurement – Organic
Our wool is procured directly from herders / breeders who have been practicing traditional sheep rearing for generations following ‘organic practices’. We provide active support and assist their endeavour providing enabling logistics and information. We also have plans to provide Insurance cover to all by end of this year and better equipment for shearing powered by solar energy.
Wool Scouring – Organic
Wool scouring is done under very close supervision, where every stage is monitored and recorded, using vegetable detergent seeds like soap nut / soap berries (Sapindus sp.) rendering the wool soft and lustrous.
Felting process is using needle punch or hot felt process where no chemical is used as a binder and the natural process of wool felting is deployed to provide dense or fluffy matting for various uses.
Spinning & Dyeing
We use both hand spinning and machine spinning for conversion into yarn from zero count producing 12 mm round felt yarn to fine machine spun 56/2 count for apparels. Dyeing is done using azo free dyes / vegetable dyes which are all GOTS 4.0 approved.
Machine & Hand Weaving
We have capability for weaving hand knotted & tufted carpets, durries and textiles with high level of quality control at each stage.
Apparel fabrication is under controlled conditions in GOTS approved facilities.