Why? Because how we source the materials for our products can have a big impact on the environment and the livelihoods of people across the world.
For many textiles, the story begins with cotton and the fields where it’s grown.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), cotton is produced in 80 countries around the world and it uses 3% of land around the world to support hundreds of millions of people, including approximately 100 million farmers.
Key challenges to achieving a more sustainable cotton supply include climate change and resource depletion.
Recognising these challenges, we have been working with stakeholders across the industry to learn more about the issues facing cotton and ways to create changes all the way back to the cotton field.
By 2025, we will source 100% more sustainable cotton for our own-brand clothing and soft home textile products.
'More sustainable cotton' means working to continuously improve environmental and social performance on the fields where cotton is grown, including:
- Maximising land-use efficiency/yield
- Improving soil health
- Optimising inputs like water and chemicals
- Decreasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
- Promoting conditions that are better for workers and farmers
To achieve our goal, we will work with our own-brand suppliers to source more sustainable cotton, through programmes like the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
The BCI is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. Together with its partners, the programme provides training on more sustainable farming practices to more than two million cotton farmers in 21 countries.
As the second-biggest clothing retailer by volume in the UK, we believe our goal will help increase both the demand and supply for sustainably sourced cotton.
But it doesn't stop there. We will also work more with suppliers to include recycled cotton as a source of more sustainable cotton to achieve our goal.
To find out the work surrounding sustainability we have already been doing, visit here.