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One Apparel Retailer After Another Commits to Sustainable Cotton Sourcing

Material sourcing is no longer on the back-burner when it comes to sustainability and companies are choosing more sustainable cotton resources to reduce their carbon footprint. Here’s a look at how J.C. Penney, Guess and Mango have all made the switch to more sustainable cotton sourcing for their supply chains.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney is tapping a major eco-friendly cotton initiative to make its supply chain more traceable and sustainable.

The apparel retailer recently joined the Cotton Leads program, which raises awareness on sustainable cotton growing by connecting global businesses with other companies that support responsible material sourcing. Cotton Leads delivers on cotton users’ expectations that their raw material is responsibly identified and produced. As a member, J.C. Penney has the opportunity to trace its cotton from sourcing to finished product, while providing more transparency about its apparel and home products.

“J.C. Penney is committed to protecting the environment through sustainable business practices. As one of the largest purchasers of clothing, shoes, accessories and household items sold in the United States and Puerto Rico, we have an obligation to maintain rigorous standards across our operations, from product conception to final delivery to customers,” Val Harris, senior vice president of product development and design at J.C. Penney, said. “We are proud to become partners of the respected Cotton LEADS program and will continue to explore more opportunities to incorporate sustainable cotton into our apparel and home designs.”

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Lifestyle and denim brand and retailer Guess is heightening its cotton sustainability efforts and reducing its water use by collaborating with The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).

As a BCI partner, Guess will work with BCI on supporting cotton farmers, enforcing more environmentally efficient agricultural methods and promoting higher standards of work in the cotton production sector. According to Guess’ 2016-2017 Sustainability Report, 64 percent of water use occurs during most cotton production, which prompted Guess to become a member and start sourcing Better Cotton for its supply chain. Guess said it will publicly share its sustainable cotton sourcing goals later this year.

“At Guess, we use cotton in many of our products. It is important that we take the proper steps to source more sustainable cotton in the Guess supply chain, which is why we have joined The Better Cotton Initiative,” Victor Herrero, Guess CEO, said. “Guess is excited to join BCI and the overall industry movement to improve the standards for global cotton production, and have that reflected in the cotton we source at Guess.”


Mango is moving forward with its commitment to source more eco-friendly materials, including cotton.

The fashion retailer set a new environmental target to have 50 percent of the cotton it sources come from sustainable sources by 2022. To support this target and increase its use of eco-friendly cotton, Mango joined BCI. The move, according to Mango, will help it support sustainable cotton production worldwide, while incorporating more eco-friendly fibers in its apparel products. Mango and BCI will work together on helping cotton farmers receive training on water efficient agricultural practices and reduce the use of harmful chemicals while growing the raw material.

As part of its ongoing material sourcing goals, Mango also launched its third Mango Committed collection. The collection is part of Mango’s Take Action program, a project that helps Mango design and develop products that include organic cotton, recycled polyester and botanic origin Tencel fibers. With the collection, Mango aims to foster a more circular model for the fashion industry and help consumers also protect the environment with their wardrobes.