Most companies using cotton are failing to deliver on sustainability when there is no excuse for companies not to offer more responsible products to customers. While around 10 to 13 per cent of the global cotton supply can be classed as more sustainable, less than a fifth of this amount is actually being used as more sustainable cotton in products with the rest being sold as conventional due to lack of demand from top brands and companies.
Lack of uptake of more sustainable cotton is a massive missed opportunity. Conventional cotton production often suffers from serious social and environmental impacts such as excessive water and hazardous pesticide use.
Growing sustainable cotton market is seen as the best chance of cleaning up cotton and protecting worker health. Just a few leading companies are doing the heavy lifting on sourcing sustainable cotton. For the cotton sector as a whole to become sustainable, all major companies will need to get on board. Sourcing more sustainable cotton has never been easier.
Organisations like Better Cotton, Cotton made in Africa, Organic, and Fairtrade are calling on all companies using large volumes of cotton to set, report and deliver on time-bound targets for cotton sustainability. They say companies serious about sustainability should be sourcing 100 per cent more sustainable cotton by 2020 at the latest.