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Better Cotton Initiative Reaches 700 Members

A fifth straight year of membership growth levels of 50 percent or more helped push the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to achieve its target of 700 participants by 2015.

The nonprofit announced the news Monday, noting that recruitment continues to average at around 20 new companies per month.

“In our sixth year, BCI and Better Cotton have reached a level of maturity that the entire sector can be proud of,” Ruchira Joshi, program director, said in a statement, which added that BCI is working toward making Better Cotton a responsible mainstream solution. “This year, we call on all 700 of you to do your part in transforming the future of cotton and increasing the uptake of Better Cotton even further.”

According to BCI, its 46 retailer and brand members have played an important part in the journey so far, investing in farmers to generate supply of Better Cotton at field level and working with suppliers to create a more transparent and trustworthy supply chain.

The nonprofit said this activism will help it reach its goal of recruiting 5 million farmers and achieving 30 percent of global cotton production by 2020. In 2014, 7.6% of all cotton produced globally was Better Cotton.

Last month, BCI added garment manufacturers to its Better Cotton Tracer system, allowing it to verify the volumes of Better Cotton being sourced by its retail and brand members through products and suppliers from field to store. Recent members include C&A, PT Indo-Rama, Manufacturas Kaltex SA de CV and United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).