Some of the world’s most renowned clothing and textile companies, including Burberry, Adidas, Kathmandu and Timberland, have pledged to use 100 per cent sustainable cotton by 2025. Timberland, for instance, is moving beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environmental and social benefits within the supply chain.
Substantial gains have been made over the past few years in scaling the production of sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at more than three million tons in 2016. However companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton.
The companies that have pledged their support are at various stages on their journey to using sustainable cotton, with some already securing all of their cotton from sustainable sources. However, all are clear that collaboration across the sector is needed to bring about transformative change.
In all 36 major brands and retailers have now signed up to the 100 per cent by 2025 pledge, including four of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s ten largest global apparel brands and three of the top ten UK clothing retailers.
Commitment made by companies will help drive sustainable practices across the sector. In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are associated with cotton production, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources and rising costs of production.