Products Made Using Traceable Zambian Cotton to Go on Sale in Ron Herman Stores

Mar. 23, 2023

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) has started to supply products to Ron Herman, a fashion brand operated by Sazaby League, Ltd., via "farmers 360° link," a traceability platform that creates new consumer experiences by linking producers and consumers. Products manufactured using this platform will go on sale in Ron Herman stores on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

Mitsui acquired a partial shareholding in ETC Group Limited ("ETG"), a global conglomerate with deeply embedded African roots,in 2018. In September 2021, Mitsui and ETG launched "farmers 360° link" project with the aim of creating a business by combining ETG's network of small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa with digital technology.

Project "farmers 360° link" goes beyond traditional traceability frameworks, which allow purchasers to check producers and production processes, by enabling users to experience a direct link with producers. The app enables consumers to learn about everyday life, commitment, and farming activities of the Zambian farmer who grew the cotton used to produce their garment, simply by scanning a 2D code on the product tags. In addition, a consumer app was developed giving the buyer an opportunity to participate in a social initiative, by donating part of the purchase price to a selected support program, such as the supply of fertilizers or solar-powered lights. Thereafter, purchasers have an option to receive messages, pictures, and other information about how their selections have impacted growers' living environments.

There are six garment types manufactured using cotton sourced via "farmers 360° link," including T-shirts and sweat pants, available for purchase in Ron Herman outlets nationwide, as well as in the online store. We are enthused to invite you to be part of this journey with the African producers on the other side of the world through this heartwarming consumer experience.

As an organization supporting global supply chains, Mitsui is constantly working to ensure stable supplies of sustainable raw materials and products. We aim to build a sustainable world for both producers and consumers by extending the highly transparent supply chain structure made possible by "farmers 360° link" to other commodities.

Connecting production areas to consumption market via "farmers 360° link" initiative.

Connecting production areas to consumption market via "farmers 360° link" initiative.

The products to be sold in Ron Herman outletsThe products to be sold in Ron Herman outlets
Zambian cotton farmersZambian cotton farmers

Mitsui’s Materiality

“Build brighter futures, everywhere” as our corporate mission, and to gain the trust and expectations of our stakeholders to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world, we have identified five material issues (“Materiality”) for Mitsui’s sustainable growth. We anticipate this particular project/ business to contribute especially to the realization of “Secure sustainable supply of essential products” and “Enhance quality of life” and “Create an eco-friendly society” and “Develop talent leading to value creation”

  • Secure sustainable supply of essential products

    Secure sustainable supply of essential products

  • Enhance quality of life

    Enhance quality of life

  • Create an eco-friendly society

    Create an eco-friendly society

  • Develop talent leading to value creation

    Develop talent leading to value creation

  • Build an organization with integrity

    Build an organization with integrity