Retailer and Brand Membership

Retailers and Brands include any for-profit organisation selling goods or commodities directly to consumers.

What are the benefits of joining?
Cotton is a natural and breathable fibre which consumers around the world love and trust; it is also renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. But there are challenges to consider when sourcing this fibre – a fibre which impacts the livelihoods of millions of farmers and factory workers worldwide. Joining BCI offers a way for progressive retailers and brands, like you, to take decisive steps towards securing a more sustainable future for mainstream global cotton production. By being a part of BCI, you can communicate about BCI, manage risk, contribute to supply creation, and have access all BCI benefits such as the traceability system, filed data and results. And best of all, you can talk to your customers about the Better Cotton you use and your efforts to create a more sustainable world.

Being a member – what does it mean?
Being a member of BCI means being part of creating impact and supporting the BCI mission as part of your organisation’s involvement in cotton. As a BCI Retailer and Brand member, you are committed to improving cotton production through both your own actions and through direct financial investments. Membership is open at three different levels of engagement – learning, standard and pioneer.

  • Learning members are new to the world of cotton and sustainability and wish to spend their first year learning about sourcing and investing in the field. They are invited to BCI events and can access all information except the Traceability System.
  • Standard members are fully engaged with BCI, contribute to supply creation by investing in farmer support, communicate about Better Cotton and access all BCI benefits such as the traceability system, field data and results.
  • Pioneer Members want to be seen as a driving force behind the success of Better Cotton. They share the risk as we scale up and invest significant amounts both in global capacity and for farmer support. As leading BCI members and key investors in supply creation, they participate in investment decisions on farmer support, and have the opportunity to feed procurement requirements into decisions on supply geography. In BCI communications, they are identified as the leaders.

BCI Retailer and Brand members participate in BCI’s General Assembly and Council and have the opportunity to influence processes and discussions at BCI. BCI Council positions are open to all members (except for Associate Members), and Retailer and Brand members hold three seats in the BCI Council. We have also developed two documents that act as the framework for what you commit to as a member: the BCI Code of Practice and the Terms of Membership. When applying to become a member, your organisation submits a signed copy of the BCI Code of Practice (for commercial members).

What are the membership fees?
Membership fees are differentiated in relation to the size of the organisation. You can download the BCI 2014 Fee structure for Retailers and Brands by clicking here.

How do I join?
To apply for BCI membership, all you need to do is complete an application according to your category. To obtain a Retailer and Brand membership application form, send an email to The application process for membership is as follows:

  1. Send us your application with the requested supporting information.
  2. We receive and acknowledge the arrival of your application and check that it is complete.
  3. We carry out due diligence research, including an internal consultation with existing members.
  4. We collate and analyse the results, and provide the BCI Leadership Team (CEO and Directors) with a recommendation for approval.
  5. The BCI Leadership Team reviews the application and provides a final decision.

Please note that the entire process can take up to six weeks from receipt of a complete application.