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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Better Cotton joins the ICA (International Cotton Association)

We are proud to announce that our application to become BCI Affiliated Association Members of the International Cotton Association (ICA) has been approved, publicly reinforcing our commitment to work towards a better future for the industry.

Established in 1841, the ICA is the world’s largest international cotton trade association and arbitral body, protecting and promoting the global cotton trade. Their mission is to protect the legitimate interests of all those who trade cotton, whether buyer or seller. Becoming a member of the ICA means being part of a community that “shares best practice and aims to drive industry standards’. Read more about the ICA’s work on their website.

BCI CEO Patrick Laine says: ”We are delighted with our official association with the ICA. BCI learned long ago that companies who respect contract sanctity are also more likely to respect their environmental and social commitments as well. Part of BCI’s mission is to assist in improving the well-being of the entire cotton industry, and membership in the ICA is entirely consistent with this important objective.”

Jordan Lea, ICA President says: ”One of our primary goals at the ICA is to expand what is known as our “safe trading environment’. BCI’s mission and track record speak for themselves as they and their members strive for sustainability as well as corporate and environmental responsibility. Our organisations share similar ideals and visions for a safe and stable future for all of the cotton industry and we are very pleased to have BCI on board. We look forward to a fruitful and meaningful relationship and appreciate BCI’s help and support in promoting the ICA. They are a great addition to our membership base.”

To read the ICA announcement, click here.

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Members raise the profile of Better Cotton

BCI Pioneer Members are generating more publicity than ever about their commitment to improving cotton production, following a strategic push in the first quarter to provide our members with improved marketing support. Their efforts send a clear message to their consumers that they are committed to more responsible cotton sourcing, as well as to other members about the importance and value of actively naming BCI as a key part of their sustainability portfolios. Our members are a vital part of driving improved awareness and perception of BCI in the supply chain and to consumers, creating increased demand for Better Cotton.

Levi Strauss & Co: Consumer Awareness campaign launch, highlighting their work to reduce the impact of cotton consumption, 17th March 2015

Following a detailed Life Cycle Assessment, Levi Strauss & Co. announced that they have saved 1 billion litres of water since 2011 through different efforts to reduce the impact from their products, including theirWater<Less‚Ñ¢ process and their work with Better Cotton grown by farmers trained to grow cotton using less water. They plan to work with their global supply chain to achieve their goal of sourcing approximately 75% Better Cotton by 2020.

H&M: “Sustainable cotton goes mainstream through the Better Cotton Initiative’, Guardian partner zone, 16th March 2015

This media partnership piece introduces H&M’s work with BCI to a wider audience, before potentially developing more targeted communications for consumers. ”Cotton is our most important raw material by volume, so it’s vital to our long-term business success. It’s our responsibility to help safeguard cotton’s future and BCI’s approach offers a smart, pragmatic and inclusive way to achieve this.” Henrik Lampa, H&M’s environmental sustainability manager.

Better Cotton accounts for around 16% of H&M’s cotton sourcing, and the retailer aims to source 100% of their cotton from sustainable sources by 2020.

adidas Group: “adidas Group exceeds 2014 Better Cotton target’, 24th February 2015

adidas Group’s recent announcement underlined the tangible achievements and progress being made by BCI members, publicising that they have exceeded their sustainable cotton target for 2014, sourcing 30% of their cotton as Better Cotton against a plan of 25%.

“At the adidas Group, we are constantly trying to increase the use of more sustainable materials for our products, and Better Cotton is a clear success story for us.” John McNamara, adidas Group SVP sourcing.

IKEA: feature in the 2015 IKEA catalogue, across multiple regions and languages.

IKEA chose to place a double-page spread in a prominent position in the opening pages of their 2015 catalogue, both online and in print, and across multiple regions and languages. The feature also includes a video highlighting their work with WWF to train farmers in BCI methods for more sustainable cotton production.

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Better Cotton Members’ among the ”World’s Most Sustainable Corporations”

BCI Retailer and Brand members’ the adidas Group, Marks and Spencer and H&M all featured in the the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100 Index),’ announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Global 100 Index is an extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessments and is based on quantitative sustainability indicators covering economic, environmental as well as social aspects. The Global 100 Index has been recognised as a leader in transparency and industry best practices for sustainability rankings.

With the adidas Group ranking third among the world’s leading companies, Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO commented: ”We are absolutely excited about the recognition our sustainability efforts are receiving. The nomination as one of the world’s most sustainable companies underlines the great work our teams have been doing over the last years and the positive impact we have made. Through our work, we will continue to push boundaries as we strive to lead the way towards a sustainable future for our company and the entire industry,”

The World Economic Forum’s “Scaling Sustainable Consumption’ initiative is an ongoing project committed to the examining how to provide sustainable options for the consumers of the future, and includes the annual announcement of the Global 100 Index at the Forum’s meeting in Davos. The initiative explores challenges and solutions for leaders to define their sustainability strategies through the lens of:

– ”Consumer engagement (demand)”
– ”Value chains and upstream action (supply)”
– ”Policies and an enabling environment to accelerate change (rules of the game)”

Read more about the “Scaling Sustainable Consumption’ initiative here.

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Better Cotton Introduce Fabric Mills to Traceability System

In our effort to continuously drive increased traceability for Better Cotton, we are introducinguser accounts for fabric mills to the Better Cotton Tracer. Initially, this will be run as a pilot. The change will mean that for the first time fabric mills will bepart of the Better Cotton chain of traceability, allowing BCI retailers and brands to trace their cotton purchases more accurately and transparently.

In 2013, BCI, in partnership with ChainPoint, introduced an online traceability platform for use by ginners, spinners and retailers to record purchases and sales of Better Cotton – the Better Cotton Tracer.

The new pilot category gives fabric mills access to the Better Cotton Tracer for one year. This access will allow retailer members of BCI to track the use of Better Cotton more easily as it moves through the supply chain, increasing transparency. In some cases, retailers will have full visibility from field to fabric for the first time. The updates to the system will not yet give the option of “Better Cotton Products,’ but do take BCI one step closer to the possibility of full physical traceability becoming an option for Retailer and Brand Members in 2016.

Ruchira Joshi, BCI Director of Programmes – Demand, says: ”BCI aims to recruit 250 fabric mills as users in 2015, before assessing the success of the fabric millpilot category. We hope that by extending the use of the Better CottonTracer across different actors, BCI will contribute to more trusting relationships between these actors and a more transparent cotton sector as a whole.”

 

More details are available from BCI’s Membership Team by contacting [email protected]

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Better Cotton Pioneer H&M visit Better Cotton farms in Gujurat, India

Representatives from BCI Pioneer Member, H&M, paid a visit to Better Cotton farms in Gujurat, India, earlier this month. Head of Sustainability, Helena Helmersson, Harsha Vardhan (Environment Responsible – Global Production) and Gagan Kapur (Materials Manager), saw first-hand cotton farmers taking part in BCI Learning Groups, witnessing the difference that Better Cotton is making to the lives of those who live in the region. As part of the visit, H&M also took the opportunity to visit BCI Spinning Mill Member, Omaxe Cotspin, an opportunity to see how Better Cotton travels through the supply chain, making its way from field to store.

”BCI has been a key part of our sustainability strategy since being a part of founding the initiative in 2005. Now, we are committed to sourcing more and more Better Cotton to produce our products, but also importantly to show others in our role as Pioneer members that more sustainable cotton production is possible. These farmers here in India are part of a global movement to make this a reality for brands and retailers all over the world.”
Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability, H&M

In 2013, BCI produced 905,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton, 18% of which was produced by smallholder farmers in India. With the support of Pioneer members such as H&M, last year BCI were able to reach 146,000 Farmers in India alone – farmers who are now producing cotton that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future.

H&M are an industry leader in more sustainable high-street fashion, aiming to source all cotton from more sustainable sources (Better Cotton, Organicand Recycled) by 2020. To read more about H&M’s sustainability commitments click here.

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H&M launch new Conscious Denim Collection.

Go Green, Wear Blue. That’s the mantra for BCI Pioneer Member H&M’s new Conscious Denim collection. H&M have seen great success through their Conscious Collections in the past, and this product launch focuses purely on Denim. Denim production is traditionally process heavy – not only the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with the growing of conventional cotton, which BCI works to address – but many denim items are also dyed with toxic dyes, sandblasted and chemically softened. Available in stores from today, the Conscious Denim collection aims to improve the production of denim-wear by combining more sustainable materials with more sustainable production.

H&M are BCI Pioneer members – part of a dedicated group of Retailers and Brands deeply committed to the success of Better Cotton, who wish to be a driving force in making Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. H&M have supported BCI’s mission since the organisation was established in 2005, and have made a public commitment for all cotton in their ranges to come from more sustainable sources by 2020.

This most recent campaign from H&M once again brings to the public’s attention the need for more responsible consumer choices, giving customers the option to buy affordable fashion items whist caring about the future of the planet. Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO says: ”At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.”

To learn more, go to H&M’s sustainability website by clicking here.

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Nike Become a Pioneer Member

We are pleased to announce that Nike have become our 6th BCI Pioneer, having been involved in the Better Cotton movement since 2008. They join a dedicated group of Retailers & Brands deeply committed to the success of Better Cotton, who wish to be a driving force in making Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. BCI Pioneer members are leaders in their sector and key investors in supply creation. Nike have said ”As a BCI member since 2010, Nike has proudly supported farmers growing Better Cotton worldwide. Becoming a Pioneer Member reinforces our commitment to increasing the scale and availability of better material choices for the entire industry, our consumers, and the planet – it’s about changing the game.” To read more on our members, view our members map by clicking here.

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Travel and Leisure Membership Category Launched

We are excited to announce that, as of February 2014, we have added a new category to our membership offer – Travel and Leisure (T&L). A T&L member includes any for-profit organisation using cotton based goods as part of the services they provide. Through the T&L industry, cotton is used in so many different ways – from bed sheets to airline seats (and many things in between). T&L members have the opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future for the sector and are all committed to supporting BCI in our mission – transforming cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

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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Levi Strauss & Co. becomes a Better Cotton Pioneer Member

We’re delighted to announce that Levi Strauss & Co. have become a BCI Pioneer as of January 2014.

Levi Strauss & Co. has been a BCI member since 2010, and has now become the 5th Pioneer member. They join a dedicated group of Retailers and Brands deeply committed to the success of Better Cotton, who wish to be a driving force in making Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. BCI Pioneer members are leaders in their sector and key investors in supply creation.

Becoming a Pioneer Member of BCI this year reflects our Company’scommitmentsince 2009 to transform this important commodity for company, our consumers, the 300 million people around the world who depend on it for their livelihood.”

Michael Kobori,Vice-President, Supply Chain Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co.

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