Another 23 of the world's most renowned clothing and textile companies, including Burberry, Adidas, Kathmandu and Timberland today pledged to use 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2025. Thirty-six major brands and retailers have now signed up to the 100 percent by 2025 pledge, including four of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s ten largest global apparel brands, and three of the top 10 UK clothing retailers.
This announcement was made at the annual Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference, where more than 400 textile and apparel leaders have come together to discuss the most important sustainability issues facing the industry. This pledge — called the sustainable cotton communiqué — demonstrates that there is a demand for more sustainable cotton, and the commitment made by companies will help to drive sustainable practices across the sector. In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are too often associated with cotton production, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources and rising costs of production.
The brands that have committed to the 100 percent by 2025 pledge are: ASOS, EILEEN FISHER, Greenfibres, H&M, IKEA, Kering, Levi's, Lindex, M&S, Nike, Sainsbury's, F&F at Tesco, Woolworths, Adidas, A-Z, BikBOk, Burberry, Burton Snowboards, Carlings, Coyuchi, Cubus, Days like This, Dressmann, Hanky Panky, House of Fraser, Indigenous Designs, KappAhl, Kathmandu, Mantis World, Otto Group, prAna, SkunkFunk, Timberland, Urban, Volt and Wow.
“It’s been a long journey to reach 100 percent organic cotton. Kudos to all the prAna employees & global supply chain partners who put in countless hours. We couldn’t be more ecstatic about this sustainability milestone,” said Russ Hopcus, president, prAna.
“At Timberland, we strive to be Earthkeepers in everything we do and we recognize sustainable cotton sourcing as a major part of that goal. Studies have shown the positive social benefits to farming communities as well as the potential for these practices to sequester carbon into the soil. This is exciting work as we move beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environmental and social benefits within the supply chain,” Zachary Angelini, environmental stewardship manager, Timberland.
There have been substantial gains made over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at more than 3 million tonnes in 2016. However, companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton.
In order for sustainable cotton to become standard business practice, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly. This pledge sends a signal to millions of producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production that reduces the environmental and social costs.
The companies that have pledged their support are at various stages on their journey to using sustainable cotton, with some already securing all of their cotton from sustainable sources. However, all are clear that collaboration across the sector is needed to bring about transformative change.