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BCI retailers & brands source 13% more cotton in 2020

In 2020, 192 Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) retailers and brand members sourced 1.7 million tonnes of Better Cotton, notwithstanding the significant impacts felt by retail markets due to COVID-19, a record for BCI and the industry.

This shows a 13 per cent increase on 2019 sourcing volumes. BCI is a leading cotton sustainability programme in the world.

The BCI engages and brings together the entire cotton sector, from farmers, ginners and spinners to civil society organisations and major global retailers and brands, to establish more sustainable cotton as the norm.

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Among BCI’s 2,000 members, its retailer and brand members are influencing the market and driving demand by sourcing more sustainable cotton as their raw material of choice. Better Cotton, the cotton grown by licensed BCI Farmers, often forms a significant part of a retailer’s portfolio of more sustainable cotton, which may also include organic, fair-trade, and recycled cotton, BCI said in a media statement.

BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that when BCI retailers and brand members source cotton as Better Cotton, it directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices, as set out in the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. Supplier and manufacturer members also form a critical link between demand and supply of Better Cotton and are committed to sourcing increased volumes year on year. In 2020, spinners sourced an incredible 2.7 million tonnes of Better Cotton, ensuring there was ample supply available on the global market, BCI said.

“H&M wants to lead the change towards circular and climate positive fashion, and one of the key tools to do this is to shift from conventional cotton to cotton sourced in a more sustainable way. We have come a long way on this journey and it’s positive that an increasing number of companies, including H&M, are sourcing more sustainable cotton, including cotton sourced through BCI. Contributing to real impact at farm level to help cotton growers to embrace environmentally friendlier, and socially and economically sustainable farming methods is crucial to us and BCI allows us to achieve that,” Cecilia Brannsten, environmental sustainability manager from H&M said in a statement.

“BCI members remained focussed on their commitments to sustainability through what was a challenging year. From civil society members supporting farmers on protective measures for COVID-19, to commercial members continuing to source Better Cotton, and thereby, investing in cotton farming communities, BCI members were more active and engaged than ever. Now we look ahead to 2021 and support even more ambitious sourcing plans from our growing membership,” Paula Lum Young-Bautil, deputy director, membership and supply chain, BCI said.

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