Sustainability Remains Front of Mind as Better Cotton Welcomes New Members Through 2020

As the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world, BCI works with members across the cotton supply chain – from farm to retail – to ensure there is continuous demand for and supply of Better Cotton, the cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers.

In the second half of 2020, BCI was delighted to welcome 197 new members, including 24 retailers and brands and 170 suppliers and manufacturers, as well as one new civil society organisation and two new associate members.

You can find a list of all members who joined BCI in the second half of 2020 here.

The latest retailers and brands to join BCI and support Better Cotton are: BIG W, DR Ling Indústria e Comércio, Eterna Mode GmbH, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof GmbH, JD Sport Plc, JYSK, Koton Magazacilik Tekstil Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S., Lands End, Luxottica Group, Maison Tess, Marc Cain GmbH, Masai Clothing Company, Mustang Group, New Balance Athletics, Inc., Newbale Clothing Pty Limited, Peek & Cloppenburg KG Hamburg, Reiss, Sprinter Megacentros del Deporte SL, Stitch Fix. Inc, Suzhou Les Enphants Children Articles Co., Ltd, The Workwear Group Pty Ltd, Tommy Bahama, Wehkamp and Zimmermann Wear Pty Limited.

In 2020, Koton Magazacilik Tekstil Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S. became the first Turkish brand to join BCI. Mrs G√ºlden Yƒ±lmaz, Koton Board Member, said, ”Sustainability is vital for our business and essential to address our consumers’ changing priorities and needs. As an important step in our sustainability journey, we became the first Turkish brand to become a member of BCI. We are proud to raise awareness of the initiative and Better Cotton in Turkey. We aim to source 10 percent of all our cotton-containing products as Better Cotton by the first anniversary of our BCI membership (November 2021), rising to 60 percent over the next five years.”

DelRio (DR Ling) became BCI’s second Brazilian retailer and brand member in 2020. ”By joining BCI, we affirm our purpose to continuously improve our commitment to the environment and more sustainable practices. Our ambition is to progressively expand our sourcing of more sustainable cotton in the coming decade to reach the target of 100% of our cotton sourced as Better Cotton,” said Carlos Pereira de Souza, President, Del Rio.

BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that when BCI’s retailer and brand members source cotton as Better Cotton it directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices. Learn more about BCI’s mass balance chain of custody model.

In addition to retailers and brands, 170 new suppliers and manufacturers joined BCI in 2020. Organisations joined from 25 countries including Poland, Peru, South Korea, Egypt and Mauritius. Suppliers and manufacturers form a critical link between Better Cotton supply and demand, and they ensure increased volumes of Better Cotton can flow through the supply chain.

After a challenging year due to Covid-19, it has been incredibly encouraging to see businesses across the cotton supply chain continue to address sustainability challenges and commit to sourcing and supporting more sustainable cotton,” commented Paula Lum Young-Bautil,Deputy Director, Membership & Supply Chain, BCI.

Through 2020, more than 400 organisations joined BCI, taking BCI’s total membership to just shy of 2,200 members at the end of the year. Find a full list of all BCI Members here.

Learn more about BCI membership.

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Better Cotton’s Membership Growth Continues in 2020

In the first half of 2020, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) welcomed 210 new members. BCI works with members across the cotton supply chain to ensure there is continuous demand for and supply of Better Cotton – cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers in line with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria.

New members in the first half of 2020 included 32 retailers and brands from 15 countries, 157 suppliers and manufacturers, and 21 cotton traders.

The retailers and brands that joined BCI in the first half of the year include: 7 For All Mankind, A.S. Watson BV, ABASIC S.L., ADT Group Holdings Pty Ltd, All Saints, AMC Textil Ltda, Brown Thomas Arnotts, C. & J. Clark International Ltd, Cawo Textil GmbH & Co., CIVAD, Craghoppers Ltd, Fynch-Hatton GmbH, Grupo Guararapes, Holy Fashion Group, Kentaur, Kesko, Lerros Modern GmbH, Love for Denim B.V., Magic Apparels Ltd, Margaret Howell, Matalan Retail Ltd, Nelly AB, Pepkor UK Retail Ltd, Pick n Pay Clothing, Pimkie Diramode, Seed Heritage, TFG Brands Ltd, Tommy Bahama, Uchino Co., Ltd, Van Gils Fashion B.V., Weber & Ott AG and Whitbread plc.

BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that its Retailer and Brand Member sourcing of cotton as “Better Cotton’ directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices. At the time of writing, collective Better Cotton uptake by Retailer and Brand Members has already surpassed 794,000 metric tonnes this year, on track to exceed the 2019 uptake if sourcing continues at the current rate.

BCI Supplier and Manufacturer Members support the transformation of the cotton sector by sourcing increased volumes of Better Cotton for BCI Retailer and Brand Members – forming a critical link between Better Cotton supply and demand. In the first half of the year, new Supplier and Manufacturer Members joined from 26 countries including Algeria, Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, US and Vietnam.

You can find a list of all new members who joined in the first half of 2020 here.

Total BCI membership has now surpassed 2,000 members. The full list of all BCI Members is online here.

Organisations interested in becoming a BCI Member and supporting cotton farmers to embed more sustainable farming practices around the globe are invited to visit the membership page on the BCI website or get in touch with the BCI Membership Team.

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Better Cotton General Assembly to Take Place Virtually on 9 June 2020

 
The BCI General Assembly is the biennial gathering of BCI Members across all BCI membership categories, to elect the BCI Council (the governing body of the organisation) and receive key updates from the BCI Leadership Team.

While the 2020 Global Cotton Sustainability Conference in Lisbon has been postponed to 2-4 March 2021 in response to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 and its global impact on health and travel, the continuity of the BCI governance must proceed as planned.

The virtual BCI General Assembly meeting will take place on Tuesday 9 June. The meeting will take place twice, to enable members across multiple time zones to participate.

Meeting 1 – For Asia, Africa and Europe: 08:00 CET

Meeting 2 – For Americas and Europe: 16:00 CET

Online registration details will be shared with BCI Members shortly.

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Better Cotton Welcomes More Than 210 New Members in Second Half of 2019

 
In the second half of 2019, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) welcomed more than 210 new members across its membership categories. BCI works with members across the cotton supply chain and beyond to ensure there is continuous demand and supply of Better Cotton – cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers in line with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria.

New members in the second half of 2019 included 32 retailers and brands from 13 countries, 179 suppliers and manufacturers and three civil society organisations.

The civil society organisations that joined BCI in the second half of the year are the Indira Priya Darsini Women’s Welfare Association (India), which addresses women’s empowerment, sustainable agriculture, child labour, skill development and training; the Sustainability Innovation Advocacy Foundation Pakistan, an organisation of researchers, scientists and policy scholars committed to sustainable development; and the Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organisation, which seeks to improve the socio-economic conditions of disadvantaged, vulnerable and rural communities.

BCI was also joined by a number of retailers and brands in the second half of 2019. New members are Acturus Capital SL (El Ganso), Amazon Services, AS Colour, Biniaraix Manufacturing SLU (Camper), Capri S.r.L, Centrale d’Achats Kidiliz, Debenhams, Decjuba, Drykorn Modevertriebs GMBH & Co., Factory X, General Pants Co, Hawes and Curtis, House of Anita Dongre Limited,Hunkem√∂ller, Indicode Jeans, J Barbour and Sons Ltd, J.O.G. Group B.V., JoJo Maman B√©b√©, Keen & Toms Holding Limited – Hypnos Beds, Kontoor Brands Inc., Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd, M&Co, Mamiye Brothers, Medanta Oy, Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd, Oasis and Warehouse Ltd, PWT Group A/S, River Island Clothing Co. Ltd, Schoolblazer, Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, The Cotton Group SA/NV (B&C Collection) and The Warehouse Group Limited.

In total, 66 new retailers and brands joined BCI in 2019. Of these 66 new members, 52 had already started sourcing cotton as Better Cotton by the end of the year. This reinforces the trend we see, that more sustainable materials are an important part of any sustainability programme in the fashion and retail sector.

Retailer and brand member sourcing of cotton as “Better Cotton’ directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices, due to BCI’sdemand–drivenfunding model. The total uptake of Better Cotton by BCI Retailer and Brand Members in 2019 surpassed 1.5 million metric tonnes – a record for BCI.

In addition to new retailers, new supplier and manufacturer members joined from 26 countries, including Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam. Suppliers and manufacturers support the transformation of the cotton sector by joining BCI and sourcing increased volumes of Better Cotton for BCI Retailer and Brand Members – forming a critical link between Better Cotton supply and demand.

At the end of 2019, BCI had welcomed more than 400 new members across its membership categories, closing the year with a total of 1,842 members. You can find a full list of BCI Membershere.

If your organisation is interested in becoming a BCI Member and supporting more sustainable cotton farming practices around the globe, please visit themembership pageon the BCI website,or get in touch with theBCI Membership Team.

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Better Cotton’s Membership Grows as New Organisations Support More Sustainable Cotton Farming

 
In the first half of 2019, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) welcomed 200 new members across its membership categories. BCI works with members across the cotton supply chain to ensure there is continuous demand and supply of Better Cotton – cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers in line with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria.

New members in the first half of 2019 included 34 retailers and brands from 13 countries, 162 suppliers and manufacturers, two civil society organisations, and one field-level producer organisation.

The retailers and brands that joined BCI in the first half of the year include ANTA International (China), Asics Corporation (Japan), Blue Illusion (Australia), Fillippa K (Sweden), Giorgio Armani Operations (Italy), Kiabi (France),Kohl’s Department Stores (United States), MAC Mode (Germany), Melco Resorts and Entertainment (China), Mos Mosh (Denmark), O’Neill Europe (Netherlands), SOK Corporation (Finland), Voice Norge (Norway), Walmart (United States) and Whistles (United Kingdom).You can find a full list of BCI Members here.

BCI’sdemand–drivenfunding model means that retailer and brand member sourcing of cotton as “Better Cotton’ directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices. At the time of writing, Better Cotton uptake by these members has already surpassed one million metric tonnes this year, exceeding 2018’s uptake.

BCI’s newest civil society members are the HCV Network (United Kingdom) and the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain (Japan). HCV Network strives to protect high conservation values in areas where the expansion of forestry and agriculture may put important forests, biodiversity and local communities at risk, while the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain is a non-governmental organisation promoting a sustainable supply chain in Japan.

Supplier and manufacturer members support the transformation of the cotton sector by joining BCI and sourcing increased volumes of Better Cotton for BCI Retailer and Brand Members – forming a critical link between Better Cotton supply and demand. In the first half of the year, new members joined from 25 countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Italy, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

At the end of the first half of 2019, BCI membership totalled more than 1,600 members.You can find a full list of BCI Members here.

If your organisation is interested in becoming a BCI Member and supporting cotton farmers to embed more sustainable farming practices around the globe, please visit the membership pageon the BCI website,or get in touch with the BCI Membership Team.

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Five Brands and One Civil Society Organisation Have Joined Better Cotton, Showing Their Support to Cotton Farmers Around the Globe

During Q3 2018, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) welcomed Action Service & Distributie B.V.(the Netherlands), Deckers Outdoor Corporation (United States), El Corte Inglés (Spain), J P Boden Ltd.(United Kingdom), and Nederlandse dassenfabriek Micro Verkoop B.V. (the Netherlands) asthe newest Retailer and Brand Members to join BCI.

BCI also welcomed Gram Unnati Foundation (India) as the newest BCI Civil Society Member.

At the end of Q3 2018, more than 190 new organisations (across all BCI membership categories) had joined BCI, taking total membership to more than 1,390 members. You can find all BCI Members here.

What it means to be a BCI Retailer and Brand Member

BCI Retailer and Brand Members are committed to supporting a more sustainable future for cotton production. They pay a fee to BCI based on the amount of cotton they sourceas Better Cotton*.This fee is invested into training 1.6 million BCI Farmers on more sustainable agricultural practices like reducing inputs (water, pesticides) and addressing gender inequality and child labour issues.

What it means to be a BCI Civil Society Member
Civil Society Members are progressive not-for-profit organisations who are taking decisive steps towards securing a more sustainable future for cotton production by partnering with the Better Cotton Initiative.

*BCI uses a supply chain model called Mass Balance. As cotton moves through the supply chain and is converted into different products (for example, yarn, fabric and garments), credits are also passed along the supply chain. These creditsrepresentvolumes of Better Cotton a BCI Retailer or Brand Member has ordered. We define this as “sourcing’ Better Cotton. Sourcing volumes are tracked by BCI’s online sourcing platform. Physically traceable Better Cotton does not end up in the hands of the retailer that placed the order; however, the farmer benefits from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to that “sourced’. Remember, knowing where the Better Cotton ends up does not benefit BCI Farmers. A brand cannot claim that a product they sell physically contains Better Cotton.

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Sector-Wide Engagement Drives Large-Scale Change

 
BCI aims for large-scale transformation of global cotton production. We strive to enable as many cotton farmers as possible to gain access to knowledge and tools to improve the environmental, social and economic sustainability of cotton production, and to benefit from implementing improved practices at field-level.

To bring about market transformation and develop Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity, we must be able to scale the BCI programme. BCI has come a long way since the first harvest of Better Cotton in the 2010-11 cotton season – after just eight seasons, BCI has reached nearly 2 million farmers.

Designed to Achieve Scale

  • Sector-Wide: We learnt that in order to lay the foundation for transformational change within the cotton sector and to achieve scale, it was imperative to include diverse stakeholders, all working towards the same goal. Today we are truly a joint effort, uniting more than 1,350 organisations all the way from farms, to fashion and textile brands, to civil society organisations, driving the entire cotton sector towards sustainability.
  • Training Partners: BCI does not train cotton farmers directly, instead we work with trusted Strategic and Implementing Partners across the world, who invest considerable time and funds in implementing the Better Cotton Standard System. In the 2016-17 season we worked with 59 Strategic and Implementing Partners in 21 countries.
  • Collaboration with Other Standards: BCI recognises three other sustainable cotton standards as equivalent to the Better Cotton Standard: myBMP, managed by Cotton Australia; ABR, managed by ABRAPA; and CmiA, managed by the Aid by Trade Foundation. Cotton produced to these standards can also be sold as Better Cotton. In addition, BCI looks for opportunities to collaborate with other sustainable cotton initiatives –our collaboration with Cotton 2040 has already led to the launch of CottonUP, a guide which helps retailers and brands scale their use of more sustainable cotton including Better Cotton, organic, Fairtrade, Cotton Made in Africa, myBMP and recycled cotton.
  • Accessibility: There are no additional costs for smallholder farmers to join the BCI programme and to obtain a license to grow and sell Better Cotton. This significantly reduces the barriers to entry. Farmers receive access to training on more sustainable agricultural practices with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Mass Balance Chain of Custody:Mass Balance is a supply chain methodology, which simply put,means what comes out must balance with what went in. This methodology means Better Cotton can be mixed with conventional cotton in the supply chain. By using a system of Mass Balance, BCI is able to reach more farmers, encourage more sustainable practices to be implemented around the world. Ultimately, BCI is focused on making cotton production better for farmers, the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future. Knowing where the Better Cotton ends up does not benefit BCI Farmers. Learn more about Mass Balance here.
  • The Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund: The Fund utilises the Volume Based Fee paid by Retailer and Brand Members, seeks to obtain match funding from public and private donors, and makes strategic investments into Better Cotton projects in the countries where projects have the potential to achieve both impact and scale. This allows BCI and its Partners to reach more regions, train more farmers and produce more Better Cotton, dramatically accelerating the scale-up of Better Cotton worldwide.

Thanks to the continued support of our Members, Partners and donors, from across the entire cotton sector, we are on track to meet our 2020 target – to reach and train 5 million farmers and ensure that Better Cotton accounts for 30% of global cotton production.

You can read more about BCI’s progress in the BCI 2017 Annual Report.

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Better Cotton Joins M&S in New Podcast Series

 
BCI Retailer and Brand Member M&S has launched a new behind-the-scenes podcast series which explores topics such as sustainability and the history of the high street.

In the first episode, BCI’s COO Lena Staafgard joins M&S’s Director of Plan A, Mike Barry, to discuss the sustainable future of cotton.

Listen to the podcast below.Access the M&S podcast series here.

 

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Gap Inc. highlighting commitment to Better Cotton

Gap Inc. recently joined the Better Cotton Initiative and this week the company is highlighting its commitment to improving cotton farming practices globally.

In the first half of 2016, Gap Inc. sourced 441,000 pounds of Better Cotton—enough to make 250,000 pairs of jeans. They recognise that cotton is critical to their products and plan to continue to increase sourcing of Better Cotton in the future.

For more information, visit gapinc.com/sustainability.

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Better Cotton reaches 700 members

We are proud to announce that the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) reached its 2015 target of 700 members.

For five years, BCI has worked to convene actors across the supply chain, facilitating uptake of Better Cotton. Enabling cooperation between all actors in the industry – from producer organisations to retailers and brands – has been a hallmark of our efforts to achieve a more sustainable cotton sector. With the support of our members, BCI is working towards our mission of making Better Cotton a responsible mainstream solution.

“In our sixth year, BCI and Better Cotton have reached a level of maturity that the entire sector can be proud of. We could not have done this without our members. This year, we call on all 700 of you to do your part in transforming the future of cotton, and increasing the uptake of Better Cotton even further’, said Programme Director, Ruchira Joshi.

BCI’s retailer and brand members, now totalling 46, have played an important part in this journey so far. Their investments in farmer capacity building generate supply of Better Cotton at field level, and their work with suppliers creates a more transparent and trustworthy supply chain. BCI’s retailer and brand members remain committed to the uptake of Better Cotton, helping BCI move toward its 2020 goal of 5 million farmers and 30% of global cotton production.

2015 is the fifth consecutive year with an increase in new members of 50% or more. The recruitment rate continues to progress at an average of 20 new companies per month.

New members to have recently signed up include C&A, PT Indo-Rama, Manufacturas Kaltex SA de CV and United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).

Being a member of BCI means supporting the BCI mission as part of your organisation’s involvement in cotton and committing to improving cotton production through both your own actions and through direct financial investments. To find out more about our membership offer, click here, or for enquiries, contact our membership team by e-mailing: [email protected].

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Better Cotton to review volume-based fee and member value proposition

BCI entered its ”mainstreaming” phase on 1 January 2016 with the launch of a new funding mechanism for farmer capacity building, the BCI Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF). With funding from the GIF, BCI aims to reach 5 million farmers and account for 30% of global cotton production by 2020. This year, BCI will make adjustments to our strategy in order to facilitate progress toward our 2020 goals, and transform the future of cotton.

Among these adjustments is a review of both our current member value proposition and the Volume-based Fee (VBF) applied since 2013 to Better Cotton sourced by our retailer and brand members. The review process will ensure that BCI and its fee structures support our ambitious scale up throughout the mainstreaming phase. The VBF in particular will be used to capitalise the GIF, while institutional donors and government agencies will be invited to match fees contributed by the private sector in order to achieve a multiplier effect.

Upon receiving feedback from members regarding the complexity of BCI fee structures, we are working with an external consultant to dramatically simplify them. At the same time, we will continue to be an attractive sustainability initiative for all sector players from producer organisations to retailers and brands. We look forward to communicating BCI’s new fee structures in a simple, clear and consistent manner – making them an easy sell within your business. The revised proposals will be presented to the BCI Council for approval in June.

Ultimately, a membership fee and VBF model, which is easy to understand and based on a clear value proposition, will incentivise procurement, enabling the GIF to invest in farmer training and successfully address the most pressing sustainability issues in cotton farming, including pesticide use, water efficiency and severe working conditions such as child labour, gender issues and unfair pay. Positive changes in the field overall will help BCI achieve its mission of making cotton production better for the people who grow it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the future of the sector as a whole.

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Better Cotton Reach 600 Members

We are proud to announce that the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has reached 600 members.

For five years, BCI has worked with all actors throughout the supply chain, working together towards the mission: to make Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. BCI was founded on the premise that this sector collaboration would be essential to achieving true, global transformation. Growing to 600 members marks a “tipping point’ for BCI in which achieving this transformation is possible. All sections of the supply chain are represented in membership, from producer organisations to retailers and brands.

44 retailer and brand members have played a key role in this journey so far – investing in farmer capacity building and driving supplier engagement. They remain committed to the uptake of Better Cotton and helping to build a more transparent and trustworthy cotton supply chain.

BCI has experienced a remarkable growth in membership over the last few years and are well on track to achieve the target of 700 members in 2015, making this the fifth consecutive year with an increase of 50% or more of new members. The recruitment rate continues to progress at an average rate of 25 new companies per month.

New members to have recently signed up includeG-Star RAW C.V., Thomas Pink Ltd., HEMA B.V and Cone Denim – the first US based Fabric mill to join BCI, supplying BCI Pioneer Member Levi Strauss with Better Cotton for their ranges.

“The BCI membership demonstrates the power of collaboration. 600 actors from a globally spread and complex supply chain uniting behind a common vision is truly unique and inspiring. Together we can definitely achieve our goal of 30% of cotton production as Better Cotton by 2020,’ said Ruchira Joshi, Programme Director for Demand.

Being a member of BCI means supporting the BCI mission as part of your organisation’s involvement in cotton and committing to improving cotton production through both your own actions and through direct financial investments. To find out more about our membership offer,Click Here,or for enquiries, contact our membership team by e-mailing:[email protected].

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