When positive change is created, people or companies often want to communicate about it. Better Cotton is no different.
A benefit of Better Cotton membership is being able to make ‘claims’ about commitments made to Better Cotton — and the impact of those commitments.
However, it is crucial that the claims being made are not misleading, which is why we are committed to ensuring that claims made about Better Cotton are credible, transparent, and accurate.
What is a sustainability claim?
In its Claims Good Practice Guide, ISEAL defines a sustainability claim as
a message used to set apart and promote a product, process, business or service with reference to one or more of the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic.
Better Cotton Claims Framework
The Better Cotton Claims Framework is one component of the Better Cotton Standard System. It was created through a multi-stakeholder consultation process and is subject to an annual update. No Member is obliged to make any claims about Better Cotton, however, should they wish to communicate about their commitment, the Claims Framework is the set of guidelines which provides guidance and rules to ensure they can do so in a credible and positive way. Claims are available according to a member’s eligibility. The Claims Framework also includes the approval process for making a claim as well as the corrective action plan process and steps taken by Better Cotton when misleading, unauthorised claims are found.
Better Cotton Claims Framework V3.1
We also have many other communications assets available for members to use, such as images, videos, ready-made materials and Stories from the Field. By combining claims in the framework with these other resources, Better Cotton Members can articulate a compelling story that is meaningful to them and their customers.
Members should always refer to the Better Cotton Claims Framework to ensure that the context in which they want to use a claim is not in breach of their agreed conduct as a member.
The latest update to the Claims Framework was published on 27 July 2023.
Impact Reporting for Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Members: Methodology 683.52 KB
The Better Cotton logo and mass balance
To learn more about the Better Cotton On-Product Mark and how this can be used by Retailer and Brand Members in conjunction with our system of mass balance, visit our What’s Behind the Logo webpage.
Better Cotton has now launched a traceability solution that enables sourcing of Traceable (also known as Physical) Better Cotton which can be traced back to its country of origin. Having access to this information will also enable new communications opportunities for our Retailer and Brand Members.
We are developing new claims guidance which will support our Retailer and Brand Members to communicate about their involvement once the products with Traceable Better Cotton content reach the retail stage. Guidance for these claims will be published as an annexe to our existing Claims Framework v3.1 later this year.
Our aim is to build a traceability solution that can be adopted at scale, with trusted third-party verified claims that do not mislead consumers. In the summer of 2024, we will publish an updated Better Cotton Claims Framework v4.0 to deliver on this.
The policy landscape of sustainability claims is fast evolving. To understand how these changes will affect member claims, Better Cotton liaises with legislative bodies wherever possible. We welcome any new information on this topic from members and other stakeholders.
In May 2021, new guidance was released on sustainability claims by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ACM. This guidance is particularly relevant to Better Cotton Members using the on-product mark (OPM) or making any other form of product-level sustainability claims. Note that the guidance applies not only to Dutch brands, but to all brands selling products in the Dutch market.
In September 2021, The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released a ‘Green Claims Code’ offering guidance to companies on the sustainability claims they wish to make. The new guidance will be enforced as of January 2022. Note that the guidance applies not only to British brands, but to all brands selling products in the UK market.
Whilst efforts have been made to ensure that the claims outlined within the Claims Framework are transparent and never misleading, the choice to make claims, and the responsibility to ensure claims comply with relevant laws and legislation, lies with the Better Cotton Member. We cannot guarantee compliance with local legal requirements and we always recommend that members consult their own legal teams to ensure that claims are appropriate for the markets in which they operate.
The Logo is internationally protected by trademark, copyright and other applicable laws. We decided to trademark the Logo (e.g. for use in the capacity of product packaging on products containing cotton) in Switzerland (Swiss trademark CH 775635 covering classes 3, 9, 22 – 25, 27, 31, 35, 41 – 42, 44 – 45) and in selected classes in Australia, Brazil, the EU, the UK, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey, USA, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, as well as in Bangladesh and South Africa (applications pending).
Better Cotton Misleading Claims Anonymous Reporting Form
Better Cotton actively monitors claims made about us to protect the credibility of our mission and our members.
Misleading claims about Better Cotton could include:
- Claims made by a company or supply chain actor that is not a Better Cotton Member
- Advanced or On-Product claims that are made by ineligible Better Cotton members
- Claims that misrepresent Better Cotton’s mission
- Claims that suggest physically traceable Better Cotton sourced via Mass Balance is present in a product, fabric or yarn
This anonymous form may be filled out to report any misleading claims made about Better Cotton. No personal data will be gathered or stored beyond that of what is entered into the form.
Please fill out all required sections. Photos and links to misleading claims may be added (optional).