On Product Claims

The ‘On-Product Mark’ (OPM) is one of the marketing options available to you as a Retailer Brand Member. It enables you to communicate your commitment to the Better Cotton Initiative, directly to your consumer, via the product itself. Use of the OPM reinforces consumer confidence, builds trust and will ultimately raise awareness about BCI and Better Cotton.

‘On-Product’ is simply one of many channels you can use to reach your consumer. Should a claim be made in direct association with a product or range of products, it is classed as use of the OPM. The majority of our Members that use the OPM do so in the form of a swing tag or sticker, however, an OPM doesn’t have to be physically on a product to be classed as such. An OPM may be in a catalogue, on point of sale in store, on shipment packaging or on a website. The key feature that defines an OPM is that the consumer associates a claim directly with a particular product or range of products.

We have created precise guidelines to ensure that members use the BCI OPM in a way which:

  • Protects the credibility of the standard by never deceiving the average consumer, misleading the reader, over-claiming, or leaving a claim open to inaccurate interpretation.
  • Incentivises those members who procure meaningful quantities of Better Cotton, and are committed to doing so in the future.
  • Unifies the BCI message for readers across diverse products in different regions, creating a more consistent and powerful message, thereby increasing the recognition of Better Cotton among consumers.

Open the tabs below to learn more or apply to use the BCI On-Product Mark!:…

Membership Categories and the On-Product Mark

Click on the circles below to find out if your Membership Category is eligible to use the On Product Mark. Follow the links to start the process:

Eligibility Criteria

ELIGIBILITY CHECKLIST

There are five criteria to be met which establish whether you are eligible to use the On-Product Mark. All five criteria must be met before BCI will approve the use of the mark:

1) PERIOD OF MEMBERSHIP

You must have been a BCI Member for at least one year prior to submitting an application for use of the On-Product Mark.

2) MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY

You must:

  • Belong to the BCI Retailer and Brand (RB) membership category, OR
  • Be a Supplier and Manufacturer (SM) Member who supplies end products to businesses in the service industry (B2B) (e.g. industrial laundries, hotels, hospitals, staff clothing), i.e. not supplying to consumer facing retailers or brands, OR
  • Be a Supplier and Manufacturer (SM) Member already supplying other BCI Retailer and Brand members who would like to use the OPM in your own retail activities (B2C). In order to qualify under this category, this B2C activity can represent no more than 25% of your textile business turnover.

Please contact BCI for more details on eligibility criteria. BCI reserves the right to establish if a Supplier and Manufacturer member is eligible to use the On-Product Mark.

NOTE: No other Membership Categories are permitted to use the On-Product Mark. BCI is developing alternative marketing tools to allow these Members to communicate their support of Better Cotton and BCI fully and appropriately.

3) CLAIMS

You must be meeting all claims from Level 1 (commitment based claims) of the Claims Framework as follows:

  • Membership Statement visible on a consumer facing website. This must be the e-commerce website (where this exists) not alternative sustainability or micro-site, of the BCI Member and, if applicable, the specific Brand under that Member wishing to use the On-Product Mark.
  • Logo and URL (see ‘logo use guidelines’visible on a consumer facing website. This must be the e-commerce website (where this exists) not alternative sustainability or micro-site, of the BCI Member and, if applicable, the specific Brand under that Member wishing to use the On-Product Mark.
  • Time-bound target for Better Cotton (or more sustainable cotton) sourcing as a X% of total cotton lint use visible on consumer facing website of the BCI Member. This must be the e-commerce website, (where this exists) not an alternative sustainability or micro-site. Where applicable, it is encouraged that public facing targets are also shared by the individual brand (under the Member/Group) who plans to use the On-Product Mark.

4) PROCUREMENT THRESHOLDS

You must be procuring Better Cotton, and over time meet the below thresholds (at Membership level):

  • Minimum criteria for On-Product Mark Use: >5%
  • End of Year 3: >25%
  • End of Year 5: >50%

The procurement percentage is measured against your organisation’s total annual cotton lint consumption as declared by you. BCI verifies the amount of lint sourced as Better Cotton via the Better Cotton Tracer.

For Members that have been approved to use the On-Product Mark prior to January 31st 2017, a grace period has been included: the minimum criteria for use must be met before December 31st 2017.

For Members applying to use the OPM for the first time as of January 31st 2017, a minimum criteria of 5% must be met before the application for use can be submitted.

Year 3 and Year 5 thresholds are defined as being the end of the third and fifth year following sign off of the first On-Product Mark.

After Year 5 you must maintain a procurement level of above 50% in order to continue using the On-Product Mark.

NOTE: You must meet the Procurement Threshold criteria before Artwork for the On-Product Mark will be reviewed or approved by the BCI Communications Team.

5) VOLUME BASED FEE

You must be up to date in paying the Volume-Based Fee. The current Volume-Based Fee calculation methodology is available in Members Application. Please contact the BCI Membership Team for more details.

Mass Balance Administration

We’ve created guidelines within the boundaries of the current traceability system used by BCI: Mass Balance administration.

Under this system, no absolute guarantee can be made that there is Better Cotton physically present in the finished product and in what quantity. This is why you will always hear us refer to products ‘sourced as’ Better Cotton. All our claims use careful wording and industry-recognised good practice to ensure that the message focuses on the commitment of the BCI member to responsibly sourced cotton, and not the content of the product itself. This applies to our On-Product Mark, as well as our off-product claims. It is also important that the users of the On-Product Mark fully understand the systems in place to share responsibility to never be misleading, and to always protect the credibility of the Better Cotton Standard System when communicating about BCI.

The future guidelines for using our On-Product Mark may change as we move towards physical traceability for our members, and new guidance may be developed which also refers to the content of the product. However, for now the focus is on commitment based claims under Mass Balance traceability. We look forward to seeing the On-Product Mark’s use by members, helping to drive demand for Better Cotton worldwide.

NOTE: The On Product Mark can only be used on products with a 50% or greater cotton content.

To read more about Mass Balance administration, the Better Cotton Tracer and watch a short animation explaining the two, click here.

The Mark

Click here to download logo files and full guidelines.

ELEMENTS OF THE MARK

  • Logo: this shape forms the graphic part of the mark and is the BCI corporate logo.
  • URL www.bettercotton.org: The BCI website address must always be displayed in the form included in the mark.
  • TM: the mark must be directly accompanied by a TM mark. The letters TM indicate that this is a trademark. Registration of the trademark is pre-approved in a number of countries.
  • Text Claim: the mark must be directly accompanied by an approved, On-Product Text Claim.

BACKGROUNDS

The BCI On-Product Mark can be used on hangtags, swing tags, other kimble tags, stickers, consumer packaging, catalogues, online product pages etc. The BCI On-Product Mark must not be permanently attached to a product (e.g: care labels or back neck printing).

If you are a Supplier and Manufacturer (SM) Member who supplies end products to businesses in the service industry (B2B) (e.g. industrial laundries, hotels, hospitals, staff clothing), i.e. not supplying to consumer facing retailers or brands, exceptions to the above may apply. Please contact the BCI Communications Team for further details.

COLOURWAYS

The mark can be used in:

  • BCI green: R141 G198 B64, or C50 M1 Y98 K0, or Hex #8DC640, or Pantone Solid Coated 368 C.
  • Black: when the mark is printed in black it must be clearly visible, i.e. not used on an existing dark background.
  • White: for use on dark backgrounds.

Use of the colour green as a background or design feature:

Whilst we do not, under every circumstance, enforce the use of BCI green on Members’ communications, we reserve the right to request its use where the use of another, similar green causes brand confusion. This decision will be made at the BCI’s discretion .

SIZE AND PROPORTIONS

The minimum size for on-product applications of the mark is 25mm, measured from the left to the right hand side of the URL. There is no maximum size restriction for display of the mark on-product or off-product. The logo should be enlarged or reduced proportionally, without distortion, and used in its entirety.

CLEARANCE

The minimum clearance around every edge of the mark is the width of the letter ‘I’ in ‘BCI’ excluding the TM mark and the tail of the letter ‘g’ in ‘www.bettercotton.org’.

TEXT CLAIMS

A text claim from the below list must accompany the On-Product Mark at all times:

TEXT CLAIM TRANSLATIONS

If you want to use a text claim in a language other than English, please send your enquiry to the BCI Communications Team to establish whether a translation in your desired language already exists.

We aim to approve all new translations within a maximum of 10 working days (2 weeks) after we receive the complete proposed text, and will collaborate if any amendments are needed. The translation must not be printed, published, or displayed until approval is granted.

Once a new translation is approved, you will be able to use it in any artwork without requesting further approvals.

The organisation name; ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ and product; ‘Better Cotton’ must never be translated.

E-Commerce Use

Should a claim be made in direct association with a product or range of products, it is classed as use of the On-Product Mark (OPM). The majority of our Members that use the OPM do so in the form of a swing tag or sticker, however, an OPM doesn’t have to be physically on a product to be classed as such. An OPM may be in a catalogue, on point of sale in store, on shipment packaging or, in this case, on a website. The key feature that defines an OPM is that the consumer associates a claim directly with a particular product or range of products.

ELIGIBILTY FOR E-COMMERCE USE

There are five criteria to be met which establish whether you are eligible to use the On-Product Mark. The same criteria applies for it’s use in an e-commerce context. See the section above titled ‘Eligibilty Criteria’. 

LOGO USE

The logo and text claims are both elements of the mark, and must be used together. The only exception for this exists should your website not have the capabilities to support displaying a logo. In this case, the text claim may be used with the BCI URL. Logo downloads and guidelines for use are available here. 

Minimum sizing and logo legibility are dependent on the layout of your website. Please contact the BCI Communications Team for more details regarding logo usage for e-commerce.

TEXT CLAIMS

Claims made in association with a product or range of products in an online context, must be selected from the pre-approved list of ‘On-Product Text Claims.’  Custom built claims are not allowed in this context.

LOCATION OF THE ON-PRODUCT MARK

The Logo component of the On-Product Mark can be located:

  • In the product title/description
  • In the product details (expandable, roll-over or hidden tab)

The Logo component of the On-Product Mark must not be located:

  • In the product details where this suggests Better Cotton is part of the fabric composition

The Text Claim component of the On-Product Mark can be located:

  • Adjacent to the logo component of the On-Product Mark
  • Separate from the logo component of the On-Product Mark either:
  • In the product title/description
  • In the product details (expandable, roll-over or hidden tab)
  • On the sustainability pages of the same website. In this case, the logo itself must contain a link to these pages

 

DIRECTING THE CONSUMER TO LEARN MORE

When the On-Product Mark is used in an e-commerce context, it is crucial that the customer is able to learn more about BCI’s work and the Member’s relationship with BCI. There are two ways in which this information can be displayed. Either:

  • A link, directly from the logo itself or in the form of a hyperlink in the product description, connecting the consumer with the BCI website homepage
  • A link,directly from the logo itself or in the form of a hyperlink in the product description, connecting the consumer with the Members’ own sustainability webpages where they will find approved copy explaining more about BCI. These sustainability pages must also contain an obviously accessible link to  the BCI website homepage

Approval Process and Application

If you fulfill all the Eligibility Criteria and wish to use the BCI On-Product Mark, please contact the BCI Communications Team.

  • You will receive confirmation that the eligibility criteria has been met, an authorisation to proceed in developing the On-Product Mark within 5 working days.
  • You can then start developing the relevant artwork (the BCI Communications Team is available to support, if needed). Once you have finalised your designs, please send all your complete digital artwork files carrying BCI On-Product Mark – including details of the background material(s), sizing, and colour specs – to the BCI Communications Team for approval.
  • You will receive confirmation within a maximum of 10 working days (2 weeks) after we receive the finished artwork. We will advice if amendments are needed. The mark must not be printed, published, or displayed until approval is granted.
  • You will need to be able to inform BCI of the planned launch date of the On-Product Mark along with the planned distribution of it’s use (across which product areas and geographical locations).
  • Each, individual artwork must be signed off by BCI. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.

On-Product Mark Member Examples

Click here  to download a short presentation of On-Product Marks that are currently in use.