The Better Cotton Initiative is looking to improve cotton production one acre at a time, and major retailers are helping drive the effort.
BCI, along with its upward of 1,000 members, since 2009 has been moving toward making cotton production better for the producers, better for the environment and better for the future of the sector.
The organization procured more than 461,000 metric tons of Better Cotton last year, and these 10 retailers are leading production in terms of volume: H&M, IKEA, Adidas, Nike, Levi’s, C&A, Marks and Spencer, Jack & Jones/Bestseller, VF Corp, and Tommy Hilfiger.
In looking at Better Cotton consumption as a percentage of the company’s total cotton buy, the top 10 retailers included: Stadium, IKEA, Adidas, BabyBjorn, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Marimekko, Asos, Hemtex, Kathmandu and Jack & Jones/Bestseller.
Most of the companies listed also use a “portfolio” approach to more sustainable cotton, sourcing certified organic, Fairtrade and Cotton Made in Africa, but BCI noted that its measurement only considers their use of Better Cotton.
“BCI Retail and Brand Members are setting their sights on doubling their 2016 performance this year to 1,000,000 metric tons sourced as Better Cotton lint,” the company said in a statement.
Last month BCI secured funding to help with that goal of boosting sustainable cotton production. The organization got a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Ministry of Germany, to aid with global training for farmers and address environmental factors like water efficiency, pesticide use and labor rights.