H&M, Ikea, Gap, Adidas and Nike Among Global Brands Leading on Sustainable Cotton Sourcing

In 2018, the Better Cotton Initiative’s (BCI) Retailer and Brand Members sourced more than one million metric tonnes of Better Cotton. That’s a 45% increase on 2017 (736,000 metric tonnes) and sends a clear signal to the market that Better Cotton is becoming a sustainable mainstream commodity.

BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that retailer and brand sourcing of ‘Better Cotton’ (cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers in line with the initiative’s Better Cotton Principles and Criteria that guide BCI Farmers towards continuous improvement across seven key areas) directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable agricultural practices.

While all BCI Retailer and Brand Members are contributing to the sustainable future of cotton, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the leaders. The following members are the top 15 (in descending order) based on their total Better Cotton sourcing volumes in the 2018 calendar year. Together they represent a significant proportion (88%) of the Better Cotton that was sourced last year.

  1. Hennes & Mauritz AB
  2. IKEA Supply AG
  3. Gap Inc.
  4. adidas AG
  5. Nike, Inc.
  6. Levi Strauss & Co.
  7. C&A AG
  8. PVH Corp.
  9. VF Corporation
  12. Target Corporation
  13. Marks and Spencer PLC
  14. Tesco
  15. OVS Spa


For some Retailer and Brand Members, Better Cotton accounts for a substantial percentage of their total cotton sourcing. In 2018, the companies who sourced more than 90% of their cotton as Better Cotton were adidas AG, HEMA BV, Marimekko Corporation and Stadium AB. Decathlon SA, Fatface Ltd, Hennes & Mauritz AB, and IKEA AG sourced more than 75% of their cotton as Better Cotton.

The ‘fastest movers’ of 2018 (listed in alphabetical order) are Benetton, Burberry Ltd, Fatface Ltd, GANT AB, Gap Inc., HEMA BV, La Redoute, Marimekko Corporation, Nike Inc., Olymp Bezner KG, Peak Performance, PVH Corp. and Stadium AB. These retailers and brands increased their volumes of cotton sourced as Better Cotton by more than 20 percentage points compared to 2017, demonstrating that sourcing cotton more sustainably can become the norm for organisations of all sizes. 

Quotes from BCI Retailer and Brand Members

Since September 2015, all of the cotton we source for IKEA products is responsibly sourced – 85% of that is sourced as Better Cotton. It took a decade of determination and hard work to embed sustainability into our supply chain and we are pleased to have reached our 100% sustainable cotton target. We won’t stop there though. We are committed to creating positive change throughout the entire cotton industry and continue to collaborate with our partners to make this a reality.”

–      Rahul Ganju, Sustainability Manager Textiles, IKEA of Sweden.

BESTSELLER joined BCI in 2011 and we’ve been an active member since then. We’ve increased our uptake of Better Cotton year on year and invested in farmer training and support. BESTSELLER has a target to source 100% of its cotton more sustainably by 2022 – to achieve this we source Better Cotton, Cotton made in Africa, organic cotton and recycled cotton.”

–      Dorte Rye Olsen, Sustainability Manager, BESTSELLER. 

About the Better Cotton Initiative

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) — a global not-for-profit organisation — is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. In the 2017-18 cotton season, together with our partners we provided training on more sustainable agricultural practices to 2.2 million farmers from 21 countries. We are truly a joint effort, encompassing organisations all the way from farms to fashion and textile brands to civil society organisations, driving the cotton sector towards sustainability. Thanks to the support of partners and members, Better Cotton accounts for around 19% of global cotton production, and by the end of 2020, we aim to train 5 million farmers worldwide on more sustainable agricultural practices and ensure that Better Cotton accounts for 30% of global cotton production.


Source: CSRwire Press Releases, Events and Reports


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