General Traceability
Photo credit: Lisa Ventura/Better Cotton

Better Cotton will spotlight its efforts to trace cotton in Uzbekistan at this week’s Global Fashion Summit, which gets underway today in Copenhagen until 28 June.

Tomorrow, from 16:00-16:30 CEST, Better Cotton Chief Executive Officer, Alan McClay, will take part in a panel discussion centred on an ongoing pilot project in the country’s cotton sector, which has been led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

On the Innovation Stage of Copenhagen’s Concert Hall, McClay will be joined by Olivia Chassot, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE, and Mirmukhsin Sultanov, First Deputy Chairman, Uztextileprom. Zofia Zwieglinska, International Fashion Reporter at Glossy, will facilitate the discussion.

The session will explore the pilot project’s aim of tracing Better Cotton through the vertically integrated operations of Navbahor Tekstil, a company based in the city of Navoi. In this endeavour, the UNECE established a digital platform capable of logging the movement of Better Cotton from a licensed farm through the ginning, spinning, weaving and manufacturing processes.

Uzbekistan’s recently privatised cotton industry is organised under vertically integrated businesses known as ‘clusters’, creating an operating environment that is conducive to tracing cotton.

As the world’s sixth largest cotton producing country, Uzbekistan is of strategic importance to Better Cotton, which launched a programme there in 2022, as it vies to scale the availability of more sustainable cotton, protect and restore the environment, and support local communities.

Beyond its work in Uzbekistan, Better Cotton has bold ambitions for the traceability of cotton globally and will later this year launch its own system to unite supply chain actors in data exchange.

Better Cotton’s traceability solution will enable Retailer and Brand Members to verify the country of origin of the physical Better Cotton within their products, meeting the industry’s need for supply chain transparency.

I’m excited to participate in this week’s Global Fashion Summit, discuss Better Cotton’s role in the pilot and outline its broader ambition. This pilot has been a collaborative effort and will go some way in informing the development of our own traceability system. Traceable materials and transparent supply chains are of utmost importance to leading retailers and brands, and we’re well-positioned to support their goals.

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