Companies that use large volumes of cotton in their products have a key role to play in encouraging the further expansion of the sustainable cotton market.

To fulfil this role, companies should start or continue sourcing more sustainable cotton and, as a priority:

  • Adopt policies on overall cotton sustainability, and specifically on the key topics of HHPs, water, biodiversity, labour conditions, and recycling;
  • Report transparently each year on policies, strategies and targets, as well as performance and progress;
  • Set public targets for more sustainable cotton sourcing by 2020, including the percentage of Better Cotton, organic, Fairtrade, CmiA and recycled cotton.

In support of the above, companies should also:

  • Map cotton supply chains down to at least the country of cultivation;
  • Calculate the volume of cotton used by the business annually and make it public;
  • Develop a company-wide plan for applying policies and meeting sourcing targets, involving all relevant departments;
  • Join organisations such as BCI and/or Textile Exchange;
  • Seek advice from standards organisations, NGOs and peers in their sector.

Additional resources

A number of organisations and programmes exist to support companies in their efforts on sustainable cotton:

To facilitate learning across the sector, we are pleased to share interviews with representatives of companies that are leading the way.

We invite other companies wishing to share their experience and learning to contact PAN UK, Solidaridad or WWF.

Read about their experiences here:

Marks & Spencer

Understanding sustainable
cotton options

read the interview


Create internal alignment and
know your supply chain

read the interview
back to top