One of these brands is adidas. We have made some significant changes to the Principles and Criteria: The international cotton season runs from August to July, and therefore, spans a calendar year. The BCI has none of these advantages.
It takes a while for them to understand how everyone can benefit from the initiative. BCI, though, can show some success. Lise Melvin, executive director, says the second harvest in India and Pakistan has yielded , tonnes of cotton, which compares to Fairtrade which at its peak secured around 35, tonnes and the organic label which yielded , tonnes. But the figures must be set against the annual global production of more than 25 million tonnes. It involves corporates seeking to create demand down its supply chain.
But success or failure of these programmes and initiatives is often down to convincing governments and institutions in the developing world to recognise the benefits and adopt them.
That is perhaps where a bunch of global brands working together could have their biggest impact. This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. Become a Guardian Sustainable Business member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox. Topics Guardian sustainable business Social impact.
Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Rather, the credits are proof that a certain amount of clean energy has been added to the existing power grid. Similarly, by committing to sourcing Better Cotton though a system of Mass Balance, BCI Retailer and Brand Members can be assured that they are supporting the flow of more sustainable cotton into the supply chain. Mass Balance encourages supply chain actors to buy and use more Better Cotton in a cost-efficient manner, as it does not require complexities that result in costly physical segregation along the supply chain.
By using a system of Mass Balance, BCI is able to reach more farmers, meaning more sustainable practices are being implemented around the world. The framework exists to ensure only credible and consistent claims are made. The framework is reviewed annually, allowing BCI to make incremental changes that reflect both our evolving brand identity and lessons learnt during the previous year.
This will help to ensure that only the most committed Members are able to make On-Product Claims, both incentivising increased uptake of Better Cotton and avoiding the risk of Members over-claiming.
The new eligibility criteria include: These claims were creating confusion within the supply chain and creating substantial risk for BCI. Finally, we strengthened the procedure for managing Corrective Action Plans, a disciplinary and remediation process which is implemented when a Member is found to be making unapproved claims. BCI is committed to measuring sustainability improvements everywhere Better Cotton is produced, and to evaluating the environmental, social, and economic impact of the Better Cotton Standard System.
As a data-driven organisation, we committed to collecting and reporting on farm-level results from the very beginning.
As engagement in more sustainable cotton production continues to grow, we need to innovate and evolve our systems and approaches to capture new data opportunities.
In we invested in building, developing and evaluating our systems:. BCI Farmers are on a journey towards more sustainable cotton production, and BCI provides them with an actionable framework to do so. Each element of the Better Cotton Standard System works together to ensure the exchange of good practices, encouraging the scaling up of collective action to establish Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.
As BCI membership increased, so did the volume of Better Cotton Platform BCP users, who now span the entire cotton supply chain, from ginners and spinners to traders, retailers and brands. We are proud to be working alongside a number of prominent retailers and brands who are driving the uptake of Better Cotton year-on-year. Some RBs have been with us on the journey to develop Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity for many years.
One of these brands is adidas. How has BCI supported adidas in reaching this ambitious target? BCI and adidas have worked closely from the beginning to reach this ambitious goal. BCI has engaged actors throughout the supply chain to enable the right amount of supply in the right locations. This has helped our suppliers to source cotton as Better Cotton, which allowed us to ramp up sourcing in a short period of time.
We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. And we do this every day as a company — by empowering people to live an active life, by teaching life skills through sport, and by creating sustainable products. Our sustainability strategy is deeply rooted in this core belief and as such, our strategic priorities for are based on products and people. As part of our product ambitions, we strive to develop innovative materials and processes that optimise our environmental impact.
We are committed to steadily increasing the volumes of more sustainable materials we source. The Better Cotton Initiative is one example of how we plan to achieve this.
Why is it important for adidas to communicate with its customers about its commitments to Better Cotton? As a large organisation, we have the opportunity — the obligation and capability — to change how things are done.
We are a company that integrates sustainability into our business model. It is important for us that our consumers are clear about our commitment and how we are delivering it. As a pioneering BCI Member, what key sustainability changes have you seen the industry address over the past 10 years?
Things have changed quickly over the past several years. Consumers are interested and demanding that we take action when it comes to both social and environmental compliance.
We are able to collaborate more and more with supply chain players to innovate and find new solutions. Transparency in the supply chain also keeps improving, enabling companies to choose the right business partners. We are still at the beginning of a long journey when it comes to sustainability. We need to recognise that this is not a sprint but a marathon.
Setting the right foundation, however, will be essential to reaching the finishing line. Collaboration is essential to achieving transformation across the global cotton supply chain. In , BCI Members and industry professionals from around the world came together on multiple occasions to share knowledge. On a weekly basis, we reached organisations through our online learning platform, and hosted 42 webinars to support Members in working with their supply chain partners.
BCI set out to create a collaborative platform for open dialogue on mainstreaming more sustainable cotton. Sustainable cotton sector leaders and other cotton sustianbility standards — including represetatives of organic cotton and Fairtrade cotton — all contributed to the discussion. We spoke with three key stakeholders to find out more about their aims, their commitments to Better Cotton and how they communicate their work to the rest of the world.
We also share some innovative approaches to standard system development. Added to that, cotton is such a critical crop and water use is a critical factor in cotton production. To begin with, we define water stewardship in terms of what it should achieve.
That means social, environmental and economic benefits and how those are achieved. It is a resource that is inherently shared. Our definition of water stewardship describes the importance of site and catchment-based action, emphasising the need to work in collaboration in areas where we are sharing this vital resource.
Collaboration is therefore hardwired into water stewardship. It is part of our DNA. From day one of our efforts to develop and roll out the standard, the explicit objective to collaborate and support existing initiatives has been very clear.
We are not trying to replace other standards or initiatives, we are here to support them to do more on water, where water is a critical factor. To a large extent, communication really goes to the heart of standard systems. At AWS, we are trying to establish a community that shares its knowledge on water stewardship, where community members can discuss issues and challenges and share experiences, ideas and lessons in a safe environment.
We want the dynamic of our community to be fluid. Our members are actively engaged in sharing their knowledge and ideas, and I think that leads to some interesting communication. We all know this is hard, and sustainable water use is not something we are going to achieve and then pack up and go home. BCI was an important initiative for Gap to become involved with. Gap as an organisation has looked at sustainability and how to create garments in a thoughtful way since day one, not because of public demand or marketing purposes, but because it was the right thing for our company to do and it mattered to the founders.
As Gap has become a much larger brand, our scale and scope has also increased, and we need to make sure we are being as sustainable as possible. That could be how much water we use to produce our denim to how we source our cotton. Becoming a member of BCI was a natural step for us.
We realised that the amount of cotton we use is significant, and any opportunity we have to become more sustainable has a significant impact. We wanted to start sharing our work and educating our consumers. It's something that is important for our consumers, and it's something they care about. We did this with our pop-up store in New York City, which opened next to one of our flagship stores. The space was dedicated to our sustainability programmes including Better Cotton, the wash-well initiative, and at that time, we had a recycled denim collection.
It was very successful. Consumers wanted to know more and learn more. They were also very surprised that Gap was doing this. It inspired us as a brand to go out in a bigger way with our sustainable practices and goals.
We started sharing this messaging in all stores. This has driven us to not only do this once, but we are really looking to be consistent with this message to the consumer always. In fall , you will see in our national campaigns that we address sustainability in a more overt way than we have ever done.
We know these issues are important to our consumers, they want to know more, and they want to align with brands who share their own personal values. Spectrum has been in the sustainability space since , starting with organic farming in India. We had dual expertise of running farm projects and also procuring materials and channelling them into the supply chains of various brands. This made the partnership with BCI a great fit. As we only sell sustainable products and services, that put us in a unique position to associate ourselves with BCI, and again, the progression to membership seemed natural.
I feel strongly about the way our industry has operated for many decades, with such a long supply chain that skews the focus on core raw materials and the producers. The passion to change that approach drives me to do what I do. Spectrum International is part of a group that has been within the textiles industry for almost 79 years. Over the past two decades, we made sustainability not just a core philosophy but also a business driver in terms of shaping where the company goes.
As we also cover garment manufacturing, we understand what brands and retailers expect from their suppliers. We felt that with this broad knowledge and experience, representation on the BCI Council would give us a chance to represent the BCI Supplier and Manufacture Members in a fair and just manner. First and foremost, we have our public commitment to trade only sustainable textiles.
Over time, this had led our customers to perceive us as a specialist. All retailers and brands want to have a long term, reliable and committed supply partner, especially with the sustainability objectives they have today.
They need to know that there are suppliers out there who can help them to meet their targets. We highlight our commitments by sharing success stories from cotton farmers and farms.
When customers visit farms managed by us, they can see the projects we run and how they are having a positive impact on farmers, the environment and communities.
We also communicate via our website, at conferences and trade shows, via media and social media. However, at the heart of all this lies the fact that our customers have confidence that they have a long-term partner who can match their vision with regard to their sustainability targets.
In order to share the most up-to-date information, in addition to the season figures, this section of the report includes the number of farmers reached in the season.
It also includes estimates for total hectares under cultivation and metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint produced. The funding information relates to the season. In the season, the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund GIF enabled , farmers to participate in training on more sustainable cotton production practices.
It also manages and processes project applications, promotes knowledge sharing, and manages a growing innovation pipeline. Traditional cotton uses a lot of water and harmful pesticides and chemicals. Organic cotton working alongside the Better Cotton Initiative is the most ethical and sustainable option if this fabric is to be used.
Organic cotton is better for the environment, the workers and the community. Is it not in their interests to contribute to sustainability and ethical manufacturing? Is there enough awareness of the schemes and the processes? Are farmers aware of the risks traditional methods of growing cotton has on their health and wellbeing? They include statistics and spread awareness of the true limitations the use of projects such a organic cotton can have on the business model.
The Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund is a global programme designed to support the Better Cotton Initiative in its goals of reaching five million farmers in key cotton-producing countries and have Better Cotton account for 30% of global cotton production. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a non-profit that promotes better standards in cotton farming and practices across 21 countries. As of , Better Cotton accounts for 14% of global cotton production. Better Cotton Initiative Read More 中文 (简体) 中文 (繁體) čeština dansk Vlaams English suomi Français Français (CA) Deutsch ελληνικά magyar Italiano 日本語 한국어 Norsk język polski Português Português (BR) Русский slovenčina Español svenska Türkçe.