The nonprofit announced the news on Thursday, noting that it had achieved full compliance during an independent evaluation against ISEAL’s Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (Standard-Setting Code).
It also demonstrated progress towards implementing the Impacts Code and the Assurance Code.
“This recognition is a testament to BCI’s credibility as a sustainability standard and it gives us the opportunity to continuously improve our work of transforming the future of cotton through collaboration with a community of diverse standard systems,” Damien Sanfilippo, director of standards and assurance at BCI, said in a statement.
Karin Kreider, executive director at ISEAL Alliance, added, “I have watched BCI grow over the years and witnessed their incredible dedication to transforming cotton production. To now achieve full ISEAL membership reflects their commitment to credible practices and ensuring continuous improvement. We look forward to working with BCI in the years to come.”
Founded as part of a roundtable initiative led by WWF in 2005 with the goal of finding more sustainable solutions for cotton farmers, BCI recruits an average of 20 new companies to its cause per month and currently has more than 700 members.
Brands and retailers that have set ambitious public targets to source sustainable Better Cotton in their supply chains include Adidas, H&M, Ikea, Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer and Nike, to name just six. Adidas, for one, said recently that it surpassed its Better Cotton target in 2015 for the second year in a row.
In its fifth harvest season, BCI licensed 1.2 million farmers in 20 countries across five regions of the world and accounted for 7.6% of global cotton production.