Coyuchi For Equality

Coyuchi For Equality

Cayla Zelanis

At Coyuchi, we choose to challenge gender bias and inequality—all day, every day. As individuals and as an organization, we seek out and celebrate women’s achievements, working to create a more inclusive world. Our impact reaches from our founder and women-led management team to the farming groups we support. 

Women Making History: Coyuchi's Past + Present + Future

Christine Nielson - Founder + Environmental Pioneer

Christine Nielson was working on a community development project in Oaxaca, Mexico when she first came across the word “coyuchi” — derived from Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs — referring to the brownish color of naturally occurring cotton.

Inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of Oaxaca’s hand-woven fabrics and her strong commitment to sustainable agriculture, Christine founded Coyuchi in 1991. This flagship store in Point Reyes Station, CA became the first company to market high quality organic cotton bedding.

"We’re changing the world, one bed at a time.”

- Christine Nielson

Eileen Mockus -  CEO + Trailblazer for Sustainability

Eileen Mockus has been working with textiles all her life. Her trips to manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia inspired her interest in organic cotton, and ignited a drive to improve the textile-making process.

In her time at Coyuchi, Eileen has advanced the cause of organic home textiles, securing Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, introducing the first line of organic linen sheeting, and spearheading organic accessibility and circularity with first-of-their-kind programs like the Coyuchi For Life subscription service and the take-back initiative, 2nd Home.

Crafting high-quality products in a way that is both sustainable for the earth and respectful to the people who make them is what drew her to Coyuchi, and what helps guide her vision for the company as we continue to grow.

"Organic cotton and sustainably produced textiles are why Coyuchi came to be and will continue to be at the heart of what we do."

- Eileen Mockus

How We Support Farm Communities

Coyuchi’s commitment to using only natural, sustainably grown, organic fibers has led to partnerships with smallholder farming communities like CHETNA, supporting and empowering people in vulnerable regions that produce an outsized proportion of global food/fiber.

Managed by a women-led team and overseen by a governing council, CHETNA reaches out to more than 36 districts and 1,930 villages in three Indian states through its programs and publications. Their organization includes academic and research experts in the fields of health, nutrition, education, communication, and gender — with a special focus on the well-being of women, children, and young people.

Coyuchi's purchases from CHETNA have supported 5,242 men, women, and children from farming families (average family size is 4.5 members/family). 286 of those farmers are female.*

Young people in low-income-earning farming communities often migrate to cities to look for work opportunities. Fair Trade prices and premiums create an incentive for young people to stay in the farming industry and keep their families together. With adequate education and literacy, farmers report higher self-esteem, better access to job opportunities, and an ability to assist their uneducated peers, often taking up leadership positions in their communities.

In addition to CHETNA, Coyuchi has purchased an estimated 283,000 pounds of seed cotton (whole seed & lint — not ginned) and paid $14K+ in premiums to cotton farmers through our partnership with Pratima and Chetna*. For every Fair Trade Certified™️ factory product purchased, a premium is paid that goes directly into a worker-controlled fund. In order to create a space for workers to use their voices in the workplace, the team democratically elects a Fair Trade Committee who determines how this premium will be best distributed.

Pratima Organic Growers Group

Pratima Organic Growers Group has elected to invest their premium funds from Coyuchi into projects that include, but are not limited to, building community centers, purchasing tractors, bicycle distribution, access to drinking water, and a scholarship program. Pratima is made up of about 2,000 producers on 3,300 hectares of land, with women making up approximately 10% of the farmers.*

Fair Trade empowers people to make choices that better themselves, their families, and their communities — regardless of gender, status, position in society, or position on the globe. We thank you for making this happen, as each Coyuchi purchase truly makes a difference.

Continue to give back and support our message of equality. 

*Chetna Coalition Brand Impact Report 2018 - 2019 and Coyuchi FTUSA Impact Report 2019