From our SS21 collection onwards we are using more responsible cotton in our collections; for example the
so-called Better Cotton, and organic cotton.
These cotton fibres have been grown using responsible methods to minimize their impact on the environment and improve lives of farmers and their families.
Sustainable cotton production means that the cotton farms are managed in a way that maintains biodiversity, productivity, and regeneration capacity, and in so doing, reduces the environmental footprint.
Conventional cotton is known to have a big impact on the planet, using about 16% of the world’s
insecticides and 7% of pesticides. The growing of organic cotton requires no toxic chemicals at all.
It doesn’t damage the soil, has less impact on the air, and uses 88% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton.
When you buy organic cotton you are investing in water conservation, cleaner air, better soil and farmer livelihoods. For this reason, the price for organic cotton can be a little higher.
Better cotton is certified by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which is the largest cotton sustainability
programme in the world. The organization provides training on more sustainable farming practices to more
than 2.3 million cotton farmers in 23 countries, to make global cotton production better for the people
who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future. Farmers receive
training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce use of
the most harmful chemicals and apply decent work principles. BCI Farmers implementing this system are
licensed to sell Better Cotton.
By the end of 2020, BCI cotton accounted for 30% of the total global cotton production.
Unlike organic cotton which is directly traceable, Better Cotton works with a Mass-Balance system. It means what comes out must balance with what went in. As cotton moves through the supply chain and is converted into different products (for example, yarn, fabric and garments), credits are also passed along the supply chain. These credits represent volumes that have been ordered and are tracked by BCI’s online platform. There is no direct physical connection between the actual fibre and the final product, yet the farmer benefits from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to that ‘sourced’.
For example, if a retailer places an order for finished garments, like T-shirts, and requests one metric tonne of Better Cotton for this order, a cotton farmer somewhere must produce one metric tonne of cotton according to the Better Cotton Standard. This is then registered on BCI’s supply chain system, and credits for the order are passed through the supply chain for that same weight in cotton, from one factory to the next. What comes out is the equivalent amount of cotton that the farmer produced as Better Cotton, but it has been mixed in with conventional cotton in its journey from field to product.