In the first half of 2019, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) welcomed 200 new members across its membership categories. Increasing interest in sustainably sourced cotton, BCI works with members across the cotton supply chain with ensuring continuous demand.
To set up better initiatives and supply of Better Cotton, a demand-driven funding model will be used that uses member costs to invest in training for a growing number of licensed farmers globally. The cotton will be produced by licensed BCI Farmers in line with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria.
In the first half of 2019, new members included in which of them were 34 retailers and brands from 13 countries, 162 suppliers and manufacturers, two civil society organizations, and one field-level producer organization.
The retailers and brands that have joined BCI this year include ANTA International (China), Asics Corporation (Japan), Blue Illusion (Australia), Philippa K (Sweden), Giorgio Armani Operations (Italy), Kiabi (France), Kohl’s Department Stores (United States), MAC Mode (Germany), Melco Resorts and Entertainment (China), Mosh (Denmark), O’Neill Europe (Netherlands), SOK Corporation (Finland), Voice Norge (Norway), Walmart (United States) and Whistles (United Kingdom).
BCI’s demand-driven funding model means that retailers and brand members sourcing of cotton as ‘Better Cotton’ directly translates into increased investment in training for cotton farmers on more sustainable practices. At present, Better Cotton uptake by these members has already surpassed one million metric tons this year, exceeding 2018’s uptake.
To transform the global sustainable cotton supply chain BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas. Their specific aims are:
- Reduce the environmental impact of cotton production.
- Improve livelihoods and economic development in cotton-producing areas.
- Improve commitment to and flow of Better Cotton throughout the supply chain.
- Ensure the credibility and sustainability of the Better Cotton Initiative.
BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity by 2020. To support the transformation, supplier and manufacturer members joined BCI and increased volumes of Better Cotton, creating a link between the farmers responsible for material sourcing through to the firms which interact with brands.
In the first half of the year, new members joined from 25 countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Italy, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
BCI’s newest civil society members are the HCV Network (United Kingdom) and the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain (Japan).
HCV Network strives to protect high conservation values in areas where the expansion of forestry and agriculture may put important forests, biodiversity and local communities at risk, while the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain is a non-governmental organization promoting a sustainable supply chain in Japan.