By integrating Better Cotton into their sustainable sourcing strategies and increasing sourcing commitments year-on-year, BCI’s members are driving demand for more sustainable cotton production worldwide.
BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that retailer and brand sourcing of Better Cotton directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices. For example, in the 2017-18 cotton season, BCI retailer and brand members, public donors and IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative) contributed more than €6.4 million enabling more than 1 million farmers across China, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Senegal to receive support and training.
Founding BCI Member, H&M group, has played an integral role in the growth of Better Cotton; in 2018 the retailer sourced the largest volume of Better Cotton. Adidas is another founding member with ambitious sustainable sourcing targets. In 2018, Adidas sourced 100 per cent of its cotton as more sustainable cotton.
“Cotton is one of H&M group’s most important materials – BCI plays a key role in our goal towards using only sustainably sourced cotton by 2020,” said Mattias Bodin, sustainability business expert, materials and innovation at H&M group.
“BCI and Adidas have worked closely from the beginning to reach this ambitious goal. BCI has engaged actors throughout the supply chain to enable the right amount of supply in the right locations. This has helped our suppliers to source cotton as Better Cotton, which allowed us to ramp up sourcing in a short period of time,” said Ebru Gencoglu, senior manager, merchandising and sustainability at Adidas.
A member that has illustrated how to scale uptake of Better Cotton rapidly is Gap Inc. The retailer joined BCI in 2016 and is now among the top five BCI retailer and brand members based on total Better Cotton sourcing volumes.
“Better Cotton sourcing is an important part of Gap Inc’s sustainability strategy. We have been able to leverage our scale across our portfolio of brands to accelerate sourcing of Better Cotton in a relatively short time,” said Agata Smeets, director, sustainability sourcing strategy at Gap Inc.
The BCI is a global not-for-profit organisation — is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. Last year, together with its partners BCI provided training on more sustainable agricultural practices to 1.6 million farmers from 23 countries. The BCI is truly a joint effort, encompassing organisations all the way from farms to fashion and textile brands to civil society organisations, driving the cotton sector towards sustainability. Better Cotton accounts for around 19 per cent of global cotton production, and by the end of 2020, it aims to train 5 million farmers worldwide on more sustainable agricultural practices and ensure that Better Cotton accounts for 30 per cent of global cotton production. (PC)
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