Fashion brands unite for cotton traceability

Better Cotton has convened a group of leading international retailers and brands, including Marks & Spencer(M&S), Zalando and BESTSELLER, to help enable the delivery of new traceability solutions and bring greater visibility to the cotton supply chain.

The panel has pulled together an initial £1m tranche of funding. It will work with suppliers, NGOs and independent experts in supply chain assurance to develop an approach that meets the pressing needs of industry today.

Traceability within the cotton supply chain will soon become essential due to legislation across the Atlantic and a sustainability label needing certification or recognition by a public authority. It also prohibits sellers from making generic environmental claims such as “eco-friendly” or “green” if they cannot demonstrate environmental performance.

Alan McClay, CEO of Better Cotton said: “Many fashion retailers simply don’t know where the cotton in their clothes comes from. The reasons for not knowing are numerous, and in many cases, legitimate. This traceability panel is a major step towards addressing the reasons behind this inability to trackback to the source.”

Better Cotton and its partners have also trained over 2.5 million farmers in 25 countries, having raised €99m since 2010 to fund capacity building and other field-level activities. This is projected to grow to just over €125m by the 2021- 22 season.

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