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Ikea reaches major cotton milestone
31
Oct '15
Swedish home furnishing multinational Ikea has announced that since September 2015, all the cotton used for its products comes from more sustainable sources; specifically farmers who use less water, less chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and are also able to increase their profits. This makes Ikea as the first major retailer to reach this milestone, the company said on its website.

Cotton is an important raw material for Ikea, used in many products, from sofas to towels. However, when grown conventionally, cotton farming uses large amounts of chemicals and water, raising costs and making it harder for farmers to earn a living. Ikea claims it is a leader in sustainable cotton sourcing as it purchases cotton – which is used in its products - in a more sustainable way.

Cotton from more sustainable sources includes cotton grown to the Better Cotton Standard by farmers working towards Better Cotton, as well as sustainable cotton from the US. Since September 2015, all the cotton used in Ikea products comes from these Better Cotton Standard sources.* Each year, Ikea uses around 0.7 per cent of all the cotton grown around the world with its main sources from India, Pakistan, Turkey, China, Brazil and the US. Of this total cotton procurement, approximately 5 per cent or 7,400 metric tons comes from the US.

“This year is the beginning of a new era for cotton at Ikea. Reaching our goal of sourcing 100 per cent of cotton from more sustainable sources is a great achievement, but it also marks the start of our next challenge – to maintain the 100 per cent and to find even more ways to support cotton producers around the world to be more sustainable,” said Pramod Singh, Cotton Leader, Ikea.

This sustainable cotton milestone is part of a long journey to help transform the cotton industry. In 2010, Ikea together with the conservation organization WWF, and other leading public and private organizations, helped set up the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).

”We are extremely proud of our partnership with Ikea. We applaud them for setting such an ambitious target and for acting as an example to other retailers and brands. Ikea's commitment to BCI helps us fulfill our mission of establishing Better Cotton as a mainstream commodity,” says Paola Geremicca, BCI Director of Communications and Fundraising.

“Cotton from more sustainable sources across all Ikea products is a potential game-changer for the global cotton market because it demonstrates the clear business case for sustainability”, says Richard Holland, Director, WWF Market Transformation Initiative. “We need more companies to follow Ikea's lead but this milestone shows what's good for people and nature is also good for business.”

Together with its partners, Ikea wants to make more sustainable cotton affordable and accessible, and also to be better for the environment and the people who grow it, the company said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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