Vicunha like to be the world's largest BCI fabrics supplier
Along with the 2012/13 Fall/Winter trends and the momentary price policies for cotton, one subject dominated the scene in the halls of Paris during the Denim By Première Vision: SUSTAINABILITY.
“By joining the BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE we are continuing to realize our vision of a sustainable and clean cotton production. We have been investing for quite a while in sustainability and plan to continue to be among the forerunners in this area in future. Although price policy is important, it cannot be at the cost of the environment and social responsibility,” comments Thomas Dislich, CEO Vicunha Europe, on VICUNHA's membership in BCI. Having joined BCI at the start of this year, the denim giant is the first textile company in Brazil to declare its support of the organisation.
Sustainable cotton production through better social conditions for cotton-growers, a more respectful treatment of the environment and its resources as well as a future-oriented promotion of agriculture in the producing countries are at the heart of BCI's endeavours. Water is used conservatively for crop growth and the use of chemicals is kept to a minimum.
Only farms which can show they meet ethical standards and provide proof of their cotton origin are admitted by the organization. “As a denim giant we are an absolute pioneer in Brazil in joining BCI. We've already chosen farms which meet the criteria from the planting phase up to supply and we're waiting for the green light from BCI to order the first few thousand tons of Brazilian BCI cotton in the second half of this year,” Dislich declares. “The concept is convincing and we would like to be the world's largest BCI fabrics supplier.” As a rule VICUNHA already works exclusively with cotton-growers in Brazil and the U.S. whose business and employment policies meet certified standards.
VICUNHA's involvement in BCI includes support of projects and studies which were already underway. These include a BCI web-site that will collect and process historical data from fields with the best agricultural practices in order to promote better professionalism among cotton-growers.
Sustainability as a part of the company's core beliefs did not start with VICUNHA joining BCI: for years the company has produced in accordance with the quality certificates ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and Öko-Tex Standard 100, which certify the non-use of substances harmful to people in the manufacture, dying and processing of fabrics. In its own company VICUNHA has set standards in social responsibility, job safety and environmental protection. Vicunha products also meet the R.E.A.C.H. standards (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals).
Apart from its BCI membership, the company has also continually invested in recycling – polyester made from recycled plastic bottles and biomass instead of oil or fuel, organic materials such as cashew shells and cellulose from sugarcane which are used in the production process. The result is that the company has reduced its monthly carbon emissions by around 10,000 tons.
The Better Cotton Initiative – BIC – was established in 2005 as a stepping stone on the way to sustainable cotton production, with the goal of keeping hazardous effects for man and the environment to a minimum.
With more than 40 years in the market, Vicunha Têxtil is one of the largest textile manufacturers in the world and a leader in various segments.