A new guide called CottonUP has been launched by Cotton 2040 to help brands and retailers radically increase their sourcing of sustainable cotton.
It addresses one of the main barriers for companies looking to start sourcing or increase the amounts of sustainable cotton they source: the time and resource required to research and implement the most appropriate sourcing approach for their organisation’s sustainability priorities.
The guide highlights the business case and main sourcing options for sustainable cotton, provides guidance on creating a sourcing strategy and working with suppliers, and shares case studies from companies that have already navigated the complex challenges of sourcing more sustainable cotton.
The guide was developed by the Cotton 2040 coalition of leading brands and retailers including M&S, Target and Aditya Birla Fashion Retail; industry standards Better Cotton Initiative and Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA), organic standards (represented by Textile Exchange), Fairtrade, industry initiatives CottonConnect, IDH – the sustainable trade initiative, Cotton Australia, Proudly made in Africa and Organic Cotton Accelerator as well as MADE-BY and Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. Sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future led the work, with funding from the C&A Foundation.
Anita Chester, head of sustainable raw materials at C&A Foundation, said: “There is significant work to do to align and harmonise the many sustainability-focused activities across the apparel sector, and to drive production of more sustainable cotton from around 15% to beyond 30% from 2020. Through Cotton 2040 and the CottonUP guide,key industry players are making a united effort to pull brands and retailers towards more sustainable cotton and make it easier for them to source across multiple standards.”