Transformers Foundation Report Looks at Cotton Myths and Misinformation

A new report published by Transformers Foundation investigates the use – and misuse – of data on the sustainability of the cotton sector, and aims to equip brands, journalists, NGOs, consumers, suppliers and others with the skills and understanding to use data accurately and transparently.

The report, Cotton: A Case Study in Misinformation debunks some of the commonly-shared ‘facts’ about cotton and textile production, such as the idea that cotton is an inherently ‘thirsty crop’, or the amount of water required to create a t-shirt. It also addresses commonly-cited claims about the use of pesticides in cotton farming. In both cases – water and pesticides – the report aims to provide current and accurate claims along with advice on how to use them without misleading audiences.

Damien Sanfilippo, Better Cotton’s Senior Director, Programmes contributed to the report and is quoted throughout:

“Everybody has an interest in data. And that’s good, because it means that everybody has an interest in sustainable development. But using data correctly is a skill. Right? And it needs to be done in a scientific manner.”

The authors end with a set of calls-to-action, including to:

  • Send in information and new data to the foundation
  • Make data about environmental impacts open-source and publicly available
  • Co-invest in filling in data gaps
  • Establish a global fashion fact-checker

Read the report here.

Transformers Foundation ‘represents the denim supply chain: from farmers and chemical suppliers to denim mills and jeans factories’.

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New On-Product Mark

The Better Cotton Initiative announces a new on-product mark, which allows BCI members to demonstrate their commitment to responsibly sourced Better Cotton directly on the products they sell.

”We’re thrilled to launch our first on-product mark. We expect demandfor more sustainable cotton toincrease as consumers learn more about BCI, taking uscloser to our 2020 target of30% ofglobal cotton production,” says Paola Geremicca, Director of Fundraising and Communications.

In addition to off product messaging, the BCI on-product mark showcases members’ commitment to responsibly grown cotton.The on-product mark will be the BCI logo accompanied by a text claim, such as: ”We partner with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally.” Together with our logo, the commitment claim will be used to explain and substantiate the mark for the consumer.

At this stage, the BCI logo and claim will represent Mass-Balance Chain of Custody or traceability requirements and will not imply Better Cotton content. Mass-balance traceability does not require physical segregation of the Better Cotton fibre along the supply chain. Instead, actors in the supply chain record the number of Better Cotton Claim Units (BCCUs) they’ve received with a product such as yarn, and allocate these units to the product sold to next actor, such as fabric, so that the amount ”allocated” does not exceed the amount ”received.”

BCI’s aim is to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a mainstream commodity. The BCI on-product mark contributes to that mission, helping to influence the choices people make when buying cotton products.

To learn more about BCI and the on-product mark, visit our website or contact the Communications Team.

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Making Effective and Credible Sustainability Claims

BCI Members – sustainability, communications and/or marketing teams – joined BCI and industry experts for a discussion on using sustainability goals in marketing and communications. In this webinar, we explored what makes effective sustainability communications and the solutions to achieving this under a mass balance chain of custody model. Attendees also had the opportunity to see new, inspiring examples of approved BCI Members’ claims.

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Measuring and Reporting GHG Emissions with BCI’s Retailer & Brand Members

BCI Retailer & Brand Members joined the BCI Monitoring & Evaluation Team, together with a representative from SustainCERT, as they presented plans for a new project on GHG measurement and reporting, and discussed opportunities to get involved with project pilots in 2021. BCI recently joined a new project led by Gold Standard focused on measuring and reporting GHG emissions in line with the GHG Protocol and SBTi. The project aims to:

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