In a new short video, stakeholders speak to the importance of Better Cotton as a mainstream sustainability solution.
Key leaders from major brands, farm coops, grower associations and more were interviewed for the video during a BCI sponsored USA stakeholder workshop. Convened by the Better Cotton Initiative, the workshop was held at NIKE Inc. headquarters in Portland, OR earlier this year.
In the video, BCI Pioneer members Nike and Levi Strauss & Co., representatives from Cotton Australia, and social and environmental organisations, like World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy, all discuss the importance of more responsible cotton and the business case for producing it.
Brands such as Nike and Levi Strauss & Co. have made major public commitments to sourcing more sustainable cotton. Susi Proudman, Vice President, Apparel Materials at NIKE, Inc. and BCI Council Chair, explained that Nike aims to procure 100% more sustainable cotton by 2020. “BCI is not a niche organisation – it has real opportunity to change the industry and to address the scale issues that we need,” she said.
Cotton producers are seeing major retailers commit to procuring more sustainable cotton and Better Cotton as a key opportunity to be a part of the market share. Australian cotton grower Simon Corish encourages farmers to get on board: “My fellow farmers, they’re already doing the right things, they’ve just got to get out there and promote what they’re doing. It is a little bit of paperwork, but I think the benefits longer term will be forthcoming.” Jesse Curlee, President of the US association Supima, said his organisation participates for very practical business reasons. “Our customers showed interest in BCI. They wanted BCI Supima cotton, and we want to do what our customers want us to do.”
The stakeholder workshop recapped the first year of the US Better Cotton pilot project. Growers shared results and lessons learned from their first growing season and suggested improvements for future years. Twenty-two farms in four states (Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and California) took part in the 2014 pilot project, and together they produced over 11,000 metric tons (26 million lbs) of Better Cotton lint. For more information on the US pilot project, click here.