In Louisiana, a new initiative is on the rise that unites farmers and fashion in an attempt to preserve the Acadiana roots. The Acadiana Food Hub group has already planted over 600 brown cotton seeds that will eventually be used in the local fashion industry. Natural brown cotton has a rich history that stretches back over 250 years, to keep the tradition alive and well, the group of farmers has planted fields of cotton at the UL-Experimental Farm.
Saron Donnan is the brainchild behind the Field to Fashion movement after creating the documentary 'Acadian Brown Cotton, A Cajun Love Story'. "I know people down here are incredible about making things work with very few resources," explained Donnan. She met with local farmers, business owners, entrepreneurs and cotton-weavers to create a market for brown cotton in the fashion industry. "It really reflects the whole Acadian tradition of independence and self-sufficiency and I thought – yeah we can do this."
In Cajun Country, there is a high-demand for knitted, spun and hand-made garments. "Now there are people actually looking for organic cotton and hip fabrics," said President of the Acadiana Food Hub, Zack McMath. "You're looking at 30 to 40 dollars per pound for organic brown cotton. An acre can produce 8,000 pounds in a four-five month season. It's not a bad bumper crop. This opportunity is incredible."