Better Cotton Appears in Ecotextile News Addressing Climate Change

On 4 October 2021, Ecotextile News published “Can cotton cool climate change?”, exploring the role cotton growing plays in climate change. The article looks closely at Better Cotton’s climate strategy and draws from an interview with Lena Staafgard, COO, and Chelsea Reinhardt, Director of Standards and Assurance, to understand how we plan to impact climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Accelerating the pace of change

With Better Cotton’s recent study on GHG emissions commissioned with Anthesis and our work with Cotton 2040, we now have better information to identify the areas contributing most to emissions and which regions will be most affected by climate change. Our existing Standard and programmes implemented on-the-ground by partners and farmers across the Better Cotton network currently address these issue areas. But we need to act fast to build on what already exists to deepen our impact.

What we are looking to do really is to refine our focus and accelerate the pace of change, to have a deeper impact in those particular areas that are the big drivers of emissions.

– Chelsea Reinhardt, Director of Standards and Assurance

Collaborating across the cotton sector

The recent Cotton 2040 study shows that half of all cotton growing areas are at high risk of extreme weather conditions in the coming decades, and we have the opportunity to take action in these regions with our potential to convene relevant stakeholders. There are challenges in providing solutions that are relevant to localised conditions, so we are using our nuanced understanding of these issues and are in a position to address them with appropriate strategies through the network we have. Ensuring we bring smallholder and large farm contexts into our approach is important.

We should be able to get there, but it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to require a lot of collaboration, pulling in the technology and the knowledge we have at the large farms and finding ways of making it available at smallholder level where so much of the world’s agriculture takes place.

Lena Staafgard, COO

Better Cotton is in a position where we have the resources and network to collaborate towards change. Join our upcoming Member-Only Webinar to learn more about Better Cotton’s 2030 Strategy on Climate Change.

Read the full Ecotextile News article, “Can cotton cool climate change?”

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Better Cotton Joins Industry Leaders and Experts to Drive Impact on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Board of Directors

I am very excited to be elected as a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Board of Directors, where I will join leaders and experts from brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, government, academia, and more in guiding the direction of the organisation for exponential impact. As a member of the Board, I will be joining a diverse set of stakeholders to drive systemic change across the consumer goods industry. I am proud to join my peers and fellow sustainability champions as we join together to help the SAC achieve their vision of an industry that gives more than it takes — to the planet and its people.

Last month, Lena Staafgard, COO of Better Cotton was elected to sit as a Director on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Board (SAC) representing the Affiliate Category of the SAC Membership. The SAC is a global, multi-stakeholder non-profit alliance for the fashion industry. In this position, Lena will work closely with the SAC Leadership Team and other members of the board to drive impact through sustainable production across the global footwear, apparel and textile value chains, including reducing environmental impact and promoting social justice.

As Better Cotton works towards our 2030 Strategy, collaboration across the sector and our membership will continue to be essential in deepening impact and delivering our ambitions to improve lives and livelihoods in rural communities, and transform the cotton sector – for good.

The SAC has been a Better Cotton Associate Member since 2019. Through ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing, we work together to reach cotton farming communities with more sustainable farming practices.

Better Cotton is also a SAC Affiliate Member, joining over 250 leading brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, non-profits, NGOs and academic institutions in the SAC Membership since 2013. We share a common journey as we endeavor to create positive change for people and the planet. We work tirelessly to ensure that the Higg Index performance improvements robustly and factually reflect the environmental performance of Better Cotton as a raw material.

Learn more at the SAC website.

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Sharing Progressive Environmental Practices Globally

Climate change poses a real and growing threat for the world’s cotton farmers, many of whom cultivate their crops in countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate risks. Irregular rainfall, in particular, creates a steep challenge, with farmers under pressure to use less water to grow a traditionally water-intensive crop.

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WWF and IKEA Release Better Cotton Project Report

BCI are pleased to share the results of an inspiring collaboration between two of our most active members.

WWF and IKEA are both founding members of BCI, and have always been fundamental in supporting our efforts to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. In 2005, WWF and IKEA started collaborating on joint projects in India and Pakistan, and have recently released an inspiring “progress report’. The report outlines the partnership history and story so far, and details 2013 project results including reduced usage of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilisers and water, along with improved earnings and social benefits for workers.

Through BCI, and supported by our partners and members including WWF and IKEA, 193,000 farmers in India and Pakistan are now using cotton farming techniques that are better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.

Click here to read the full report.

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Better Cotton Programme seeks China government collaboration

13.11.13 Ecotextile News

GENEVA – A new report from the Better Cotton Initiative’s Fast Track Program, which includes clothing retailers, Adidas, H&M and Walmart, has outlined the association’s aim to collaborate with Chinese government to develop new good agricultural practices and a greater understanding of China’s cotton policy.

Aiming to address the sustainability challenges faced in the production of cotton and work to mainstream sustainable cotton, retailers involved in the Better Cotton Initiative’s (BCI) Better Cotton Fast Track Program also include Marks and Spencer, Levi Strauss and VF Corporation.

The Better Cotton Fast Track Program End Year Report 2012, From field to fashion, report looks the impact of the fast track program worldwide, including the BCFTP funded ABRAPA (Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Algodão), project in Brazil covering over 210,000 acres and 100 farmers,20 projects in India reaching more than 90,000 workers and farmers, and an investment of EU 390 000 made in China.

The recent distortion of the market by China’s national cotton reserve program has been the biggest challenge for retail brands to procure Better Cotton from Chinese suppliers, the report claims, with thecountry cultivating around 25 per cent of the total global cotton production, according to BCI figures.

”BCI is actively seeking collaboration with central and local government (initially by engaging with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Centre for the Rural Economy to develop the China Good Agricultural Practices )… Developing an understanding of China’s cotton policy and exploring solutions is clearly indispensable to all stakeholders in the cotton supply chain,” the report states.

2012 was the first year Better Cotton was licensed and produced in China, with 32,000 megatonnes(MT) of lint licensed as Better Cotton, from which 29,000 MT was taken up by ginners.

Looking forward, the report states the BCI is aiming to set targets for brands to deliver on their public commitments in the coming years, whilst ”looking to evolve beyond sustainability departments of apparel companies get entrenched in their operations and commercial business.”

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