Focus Area: Products
Cotton - Our most used material
Cotton is our most important material. It is a renewable resource, and the cultivation and production of cotton products contribute to creating jobs and improving lives of millions of people around the world. However, conventional cotton growing has a considerable impact on the environment and the people growing it. Therefore, we are committed to sourcing the majority of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2020. ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes Better Cotton, Cotton Made in Africa, organic cotton and recycled cotton.
BESTSELLER is an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.
BCI is the most widespread cotton sustainability programme in the world. Supporting farmers is the heart of BCI’s work and the reason why it exists. The Better Cotton Standard is a holistic approach to more sustainable cotton production. BCI licensed farmers produce cotton in a way that cares for the environment – minimising the negative effects of fertilisers and pesticides, and caring for water, soil health and natural habitats. BCI farmers also commit to decent work principles – conditions that support workers’ safety and wellbeing. Learn more about BCI
COTTON MADE IN AFRICA
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) aims to sustainably improve the living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa by helping them help themselves through trade (aid by trade principle). The farmers are trained in efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation methods, and an international alliance of textile companies source the CmiA raw material and pay a licensing fee to use the seal. The proceeds from licensing fees, in following with the workings of a social business, are reinvested in the project regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more about CmiA
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a positive impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture, and prohibit the use of synthetic toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilisers, as well as genetically engineered seed. Third-party certification organisations verify that organic producers meet strict federal regulations addressing methods and materials allowed in organic production.
Cotton can be recycled from pre-consumer waste, which comes from any excess material produced during the production of yarn, fabrics and textile products, or post-consumer waste, which comes from discarded textile products, e.g. used apparel and home textiles.
There is a technological challenge of recycling cotton as these fibres are shorter than the original fibres, making them more difficult to spin. Therefore, recycled cotton is often blended with virgin cotton fibres to improve the quality of the yarns.