CottonUP is a new interactive guide launched by Cotton 2040 to help brands and retailers fast track sustainable sourcing across multiple standards. The guide answers three big questions about sourcing sustainable cotton: why it’s important, what you need to know and do, and how to get started.
The guide was developed by the Cotton 2040 coalition, which includes retailers and brands, cotton standards and industry initiatives. Sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future led the work, with funding from the C&A Foundation.
BCI caught up with Brooke Summers, Manager, Supply Chain Relationships at Cotton Australia, a CottonUP contributor, to talk about her organisation’s involvement.
Why did Cotton Australia decide to be involved in the creation of the CottonUP guide?
Cotton Australia became involved for a number ofreasons.Firstly, the issues being raised by Forum forthe Future were similar to ones the brands here in Australia were experiencing and we wanted to be able to help them overcome them in order to source sustainable cotton. Secondly, we wanted to make sure the farmer voice was heard inthe group. Sometimes their valuable insights can be lost in these discussions.Finally, we saw a great opportunity to collaborate with the other cotton standards to achieve something together forthe first time. The challenges for cotton are often positioned as challenges for all, but we are dealing with complex natural systems that are different acrossgeographies and cultures–trying to find simplicity in this complexity was part of what we hoped to help with.
How do you envision the CottonUP guide driving change in the sector?
In Australia specifically, there are brands at various stages of the sustainabilityjourney, some just beginning. We hope the guide will drive change in the industry by making sustainable cotton sourcing easier. We also hope it will lead to increased collaboration between brands to drive more uptake of sustainable cotton. This increased awareness, and desire to take action, will in turn drive participation in Cotton Australia’s on-farm sustainability programmes, which is a key goal of ours.
CottonUP seeks to address one of the main barriers for companies looking to start sourcing or increase the amounts of sustainable cotton they source: the time and resource required to research and implement the most appropriate sourcing approach for their organisation’s sustainability priorities.
Access the CottonUP guide.
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