As BCI celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, we caught up with Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co., to discuss the fashion industry’s shifting attitude toward cotton production and sustainability.Read more
Patrick Laine, CEO of the Better Cotton Initiative, and Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co., spoke with Robert Antoshak, Managing Director of Olah Inc., about BCI and how it can benefit American cotton producers. The interview was conducted live for Ag Market Network on Thursday, 13 August 2015. It is archived on the Ag Market Network website and is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.
After the first year of its USA pilot programme, BCI plans to expand operations in the United States. Laine explained that the organisation’s motivation for doing so came from BCI brands and retailers.
”The reason we’re coming to the USA is because the customers of American cotton producers have asked us to,” said Laine.
One brand encouraging BCI to work in the United States is Levi Strauss & Co.
”By 2020, 75% of all the cotton that we use will be qualified as Better Cotton. As a huge user of US cotton, we’re definitely interested in getting the programme to US growers,” said Kobori.
For brands and retailers, demonstrating sustainable practices is increasingly important and many view responsible sourcing as smart business.
Kobori said, ”That’s how our company views sustainability in general. It’s certainly a competitive advantage if you communicate it properly to the consumer, and it’s something that consumers are more and more aware of and want.”
Both acknowledged that US farmers are already some of the most advanced and socially responsible in the world. Laine explained that participation in the BCI programme gives American farmers a structured and legitimate framework allowing them to be recognised for the good work they’re already doing.
When asked if Better Cotton can give cotton a competitive advantage, Laine responded, ”We provide brands strong, positive messages that are both credible and relevant to their businesses. That’s good news for the brands, that’s good news for the cotton industry.”Read more
In a follow-up article to his recent public talk about Levi Strauss & Co.’s commitment to sustainability, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. Chip Bergh says in the Huffington Post that BCI is the solution to Levi’s “Watergrowing” process promoting sustainable cotton farming that uses less water.
Levi Strauss & Co. has been a BCI member since 2009 and became a Pioneer Member at the start of this year. They have committed to sourcing 20% of all jeans as Better Cotton by 2015.Read more
We’re delighted to announce that Levi Strauss & Co. have become a BCI Pioneer as of January 2014.
Levi Strauss & Co. has been a BCI member since 2010, and has now become the 5th Pioneer member. They join a dedicated group of Retailers and Brands deeply committed to the success of Better Cotton, who wish to be a driving force in making Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. BCI Pioneer members are leaders in their sector and key investors in supply creation.
“Becoming a Pioneer Member of BCI this year reflects our Company’scommitmentsince 2009 to transform this important commodity for company, our consumers, the 300 million people around the world who depend on it for their livelihood.”
Michael Kobori,Vice-President, Supply Chain Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co.Read more