Luxury fashion house Armani Group has started an experimental agroforestry plantation in southern Italy to test new ways to produce cotton sustainably, it said on Monday.
Armani said cotton planting started last month over one hectare of land - to be expanded to five hectares - in the southern region of Apulia.
Agroforestry is a land-use system that plants trees in and around crop and pastureland.
"Over five years, this farm site will be among the first field experiments in Europe testing agroforestry cotton with alternative tree species and regenerative practices," Reuters quoted Armani as saying in a statement.
The project is in collaboration with the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Fashion Task Force and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, both founded by Britain's King Charles in his former role as the Prince of Wales, Armani Group said.
Sustainability has been a growing focus for the fashion sector this year, with both Armani and Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent owner Kering pledging cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, and EU governments agreeing a ban on the destruction of unsold textiles.