Is this guide for you?
Are you a senior manager on a mission? A sustainability professional researching sourcing options? A buyer with targets to hit and suppliers to manage? If so, the answer is ‘yes’.
This guide will provide you with the practical information and resources to either start sourcing sustainable cotton or increase your volumes. We’re here to help you go further, faster.
What is the CottonUP guide?
Cotton is vital for fashion brands and retailers, but it can come at a high social and environmental cost. Sourcing more sustainable cotton is essential to reducing the commodity’s negative impacts and ensuring future supply.
However, researching the most appropriate sourcing approach for your organisation’s sustainability priorities is time and resource intensive.
The CottonUP guide exists to help apparel industry professionals develop and implement sourcing strategies, in particular across multiple standards such as organic, Fairtrade or the Better Cotton Initiative, among others.
The guide shares direct experiences and learning from companies that have already navigated the complex challenges of sourcing more sustainable cotton.
How this guide can positively impact the industry
Deliver a lower-cost sourcing policy
Although producing a sustainable sourcing strategy for a fibre can be expensive and time-consuming, it can help big brands and retailers reach wider sustainability goals. The CottonUP guide provides a comprehensive overview of the information and processes organisations need to deliver and deploy a cotton fibre strategy.
Develop a shared vision
Organisations often have difficulty developing and aligning on a vision and its supporting goals. This can be especially true for the complex and rapidly changing landscape of sustainability. The CottonUP guide addresses this by raising awareness and understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in more sustainable cotton sourcing.
Skill up colleagues
In pursuit of its goals, this guide will also enable capacity building within organisations. We want colleagues to have a shared understanding of the benefits, challenges and options for sourcing sustainable cotton. This equips them to participate in policy setting, support any resulting decisions, and – when necessary – take action.
The CottonUP guide was made possible by generous funding from the C&A Foundation. It was jointly developed by the members of the Cotton 2040 initiative, with input from numerous other industry stakeholders.
Cotton 2040 is a unique cross-industry partnership, bringing together leading international brands and retailers, cotton standards, existing industry initiatives and other stakeholders across the supply chain. The initiative is convened by global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future.
Cotton 2040 aims to integrate and accelerate action on critical issues to sustainably grown cotton, reducing the system’s negative impacts and ensuring supply for the future.
One priority of Cotton 2040’s work is to increase how much sustainable cotton brands and retailers source, by enabling professionals in the apparel industry to more easily develop and implement sustainable cotton sourcing strategies.
Help us improve this guide
We want this guide to help you on your cotton sourcing journey – whether you’re just starting out or are working towards a 100% sustainable cotton target.
Your feedback is vital. We’d love to know what you think of this guide, and how we can improve it. Which information is particularly valuable? What is missing? Which resources would help you move forward more quickly?
Please take our short survey and help us drive uptake of sustainable cotton sourcing.
By registering your contact details, we can better support you on your sustainability journey. For example, we’ll let you know about events, webinars, resources and case studies we think you’ll find useful.
The C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation. We are here to transform the fashion industry. Through financial support, sharing our expertise and providing access to a network of specialists, we strengthen platforms, NGOs and other changemakers. They can then transform the fashion industry and make it work better for every person it touches.Visit Website
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL) is India’s largest pure play Fashion and Lifestyle Company with a strong bouquet of leading fashion brands and retail formats.Visit Website
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a not-for-profit organisation that stewards the global standards for Better Cotton, and brings together cotton’s complex supply chain, from farmers to retailers.Visit Website
Centre for Sustainable Fashion is a Research Centre of the University of the Arts London based at London College of Fashion. Our work explores vital elements of Better Lives, London College of Fashion’s commitment to using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live.Visit Website
Cotton Australia is the main representative body for the Australian cotton growing industry, led by a Board of nine cotton growers and ginners.Visit Website
Cotton Connect is a pioneering company with a social purpose, delivering business benefits to retailers and brands by creating more sustainable cotton supply chains.Visit Website
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps people help themselves through trade. It improves the social, economic and ecological living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa.Visit Website
Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers.Visit Website
Forum for the Future is an international non-profit working with business, government and civil society to solve complex sustainability challenges.Visit Website
IDH accelerates and scales sustainable trade by building impact-oriented coalitions of leading multinationals, civil society organisations, governments and other stakeholders.Visit Website
MADE-BY is an award-winning not-for-profit organisation with a mission to ‘make sustainable fashion common practice’. Through targeted consultancy, partnerships and stakeholder engagement, we work with well over 100 brands and retailers.Visit Website
Marks and Spencer plc (also known as M&S) is a major British multinational retailer with a commitment to building a sustainable future. It specialises in the selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products.Visit Website
As an accelerator, the OCA works with sector stakeholders to find and implement solutions that will speed up the structural shift towards organic cotton.Visit Website
Founded in 2008, Proudly Made in Africa is a UK and Ireland based non-profit organisation that builds sustainable channels to market for African products.Visit Website
Solidaridad is an international development organisation with more than 45 years of experience in improving the sustainability of global supply chains.Visit Website
Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organisation that focuses on minimising the harmful impacts of the global textile industry and maximising its positive effects.Visit Website
Target Corporation is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States and is a component of the S&P 500 Index.Visit Website